February 10, 2016 / 4:25 PM / 4 years ago

U.S. can meet Paris climate deal goals despite court ruling: White House

The slogan "Climate action" is projected on the Eiffel Tower as part of the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) in Paris, France, December 11, 2015. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) - The White House said on Wednesday that it was confident it could meet its obligations under the Paris climate change agreement, despite a court ruling temporarily blocking the administration’s limits on power plants’ carbon emissions.

The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a serious blow to the Obama administration’s climate change agenda on Tuesday when it took the unusual step to delay implementation of the Clean Power Plan until legal challenges to the regulation are completed.

The Clean Power Plan was designed to lower carbon emissions from U.S. power plants by 2030 to 32 percent below 2005 levels.

While the plan was expected to be the main tool for the United States to meet climate goals agreed to in an international deal in December, White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters in a briefing that it was only one part of the nation’s response to climate change.

The long-term extension of the tax credits for renewable energy last year will continue to provide momentum that will transition the power sector toward cleaner sources of energy, Schultz said.

“The inclusion of those tax credits is going to have more impact over the short term than the Clean Power Plan,” he said.

Schultz said the administration was in talks with its partners in the deal and that diplomats in those countries understood the complexities of establishing policies in the United States.

He also said he expected that litigation involving the Clean Power Plan to be wrapped up in time for the United States to comply with the climate agreement.

Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by Ayesha Rascoe; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Lisa Von Ahn

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