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Delay of clean power plan stokes worries about Paris treaty

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration says a Supreme Court order delaying enforcement of its new clean-power rules will ultimately have little impact on meeting the nation’s obligations under the recent Paris climate agreement.

But environmentalists and academic experts are more nervous.

They voiced concern Wednesday that any significant pause in implementing mandated reductions in carbon-dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants will imperil U.S. credibility to lead on climate change. That increases worries both at home and abroad that the whole international agreement might unravel if a Republican wins the White House in November.

Though the case is still pending before an appeals court in Washington, a 5-to-4 majority on the Supreme Court issued a surprising order on Tuesday barring any enforcement of the plan until the legal challenge is resolved.