Donald Trump hails 'new era' as he signs order undoing Obama climate change policies

Francesca Gillett
Coal miners look on as US President Donald Trump signs an executive order rolling back Obama's climate change rules: REUTERS

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order scrapping some of Barack Obama’s policies aimed at cutting global warming.

The US leader, who in the past has called climate change a “hoax”, had repeatedly criticised the former president’s efforts as an attack on workers and the country’s struggling coal industry.

President Trump signed the Energy Independence Executive Order which he said was “the start of a new era” in energy production.

The order suspends more than half-a-dozen of Obama’s policies including the Clean Power Plan which restricts greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants.

Environmental activists including former Vice President Al Gore denounced the plan and other groups are promising to fight the agenda.

But President Trump said: "That is what this is all about: bringing back our jobs, bringing back our dreams and making America wealthy again.”

According to figures released by the Energy Department in January, the coal mining industry employs 75,000 people whereas renewable energy accounts for 650,000 US jobs.