Amy Coney Barrett’s election to the US Supreme Court may affect climate fight

  • Date: 27/10/20
  • The Guardian

Barrett and five other conservative justices will wield considerable influence on climate change policy

Amy Coney Barrett confirmed to the US Supreme Court

The supreme court is shifting right, at a pivotal moment when it could have the last word on how much the US contributes to battling the climate crisis.

Amy Coney Barrett’s addition to the court could leave an indelible mark on how fiercely the US, and perhaps the rest of the world, can fight rising temperatures, even as scientists warn society has just years to take serious action.

Barrett, a 48-year-old devout Catholic, has said she does not hold “firm views” on climate change, calling it a “very contentious matter of public debate”. Because her father worked in oil and gas, she has previously recused herself from cases involving Royal Dutch Shell.

From deciding the legality of climate regulations for polluters to determining whether oil companies should pay for climate damages, Barrett and five other conservative justices will wield considerable influence.

While Barrett’s history of decisions on environmental issues is limited, her appointment to the court by Trump – as his third justice in four years – solidifies a transfer of power from an often progressive or moderate court.

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