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Each year On the Brink lists the top environmental news stories of the year. However this year, there is only one story that makes the list: the destruction of U.S. federal environmental policy. Certainly there are other interesting stories out there (for example this one from Africa where the Africa Development Bank is moving rapidly to promote green energy across the continent), but the abrogation of many important environmental rules/policies by the current presidential administration is really the top new story of the year. Here are but ten examples of the destruction of policy:
1. Withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord and general climate change denial as many climate-related natural disasters happened.
5. Appointment of unqualified or ethically irresponsible people to powerful environmental positions.
9. Attack on the Endangered Species Act including the delisting of the grizzly bear (there are only 700 of them).
I could have added many more stories from a number of agencies, but I think these 10 stories provide a clear example of the significance of the shift away from environmental protection. The impact of these rollbacks will be felt in the coming years and I am certain that there will be improvements in the future as the pendulum swings back. It is also worth noting that many of these actions are deeply unpopular and will have a near-term political price.