He was responding to a question at the regular noon briefing at UN Headquarters in New York, about the ruling, which in effect strips away the power of the EPA to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
The case was brought against the US Government agency by the state of West Virginia on behalf of other mainly Republican-led states, and several major coal producing companies.
The issue at hand decided on by a majority of 6-3, was whether the EPA had the right to regulate CO2 emissions on a state-wide, versus an individual company level.
The conservative-leaning majority on the Court sided with the states and fossil fuel interests which argued it threatened excessive regulation, agreeing that Congress – when the EPA was established – did not intent to delegate such significant decisions, to an agency.
US President Joe Biden described it as a “devastating decision”. Although the court ruling does not prevent the EPA from regulating emissions in the future, according to news reports, it makes clear that Congress would have to give clear consent for the agency to act.
Already ‘far off-track’
“While it is not the UN’s role to provide legal commentary on judicial decisions of individual Member States, just more generally, I can say that this is a setback in our fight against climate change, when we are already far off-track in meeting the…