State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Tracking the Undoing of Climate-Change Measures

By Jessica Wentz

President Donald Trump has stated that he intends to undo most or all of the Obama administration’s efforts to address climate change. Today, the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law is launching a new tool to identify and explain the efforts taken by the incoming administration to scale back or wholly eliminate federal climate change mitigation and adaptation measures. The Climate Deregulation Tracker will also monitor congressional efforts to repeal statutory provisions, regulations and guidance pertaining to climate change, and to otherwise undermine climate action.

President Trump signs a memorandum on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Photo:
President Trump signs a memorandum on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Photo:

The tracker will be linked to our database of U.S. climate change regulations, which catalogs existing regulations, guidance documents, and other efforts undertaken by federal agencies to address the causes and impacts of climate change. That database will be updated with information about each of the deregulatory actions. We are also partnering with students in the Columbia University Climate and Society program to assess the environmental, economic and public health impacts of those actions, in their own right and as compared to the Obama administration’s policies. Both the Climate Deregulation Tracker and the database of climate change regulations also link through to our U.S. Climate Change Litigation chart, providing a dynamic and comprehensive picture of the state of climate law in the United States.

In addition, we are in the process of updating the existing regulation database with links to archived versions of proposed and final regulations, technical support documents, regulatory impact analyses, agency guidance and other relevant resources. The goal of archiving these resources is to ensure that they remain available to the public even if the Trump administration removes them from federal websites.

If you have questions about or inputs for the Climate Deregulation Tracker or the regulation database, please contact Sabin Center Executive Director Michael Burger ( or staff attorney Jessica Wentz (

Jessica Wentz is staff attorney at the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law.

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Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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