However, his withdrawal of global warming restrictions is one of the clearest ways he has worked to eradicate a cornerstone of President Barack Obama's legacy.
Regardless of what happens in the presidential elections of 2020, critics have said that Trump has already cemented an inheritance of the environment that will be felt by future generations.
"He joins in politics through his irresponsible environmental enduring, irreversible damage to our environment, including his efforts to block progress on climate change," Dr. Michael E. Mann, Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State University and Director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center. "If we go beyond the major turning points ̵
1; the melting of the big ice sheets – there is no turning back."
Here's a look at some of Trump's most momentous climate-policy setbacks:
Weakening Fuel Economy Economic Standards
Last year, the New York Times reported that the Trump administration was easing benchmarks for fuel efficiency and Greenhouse gas emissions, a shift that triggered one of Obama's key climate change initiatives.
When the proposed change goes into effect This could have serious consequences for the planet: According to the Environmental Protection Agency, traffic emits more greenhouse gases than any other sector of the US economy.
But California and several other states have sued to block the shift, and there are signs that even some automakers with Trumps rollbacks are not on board.
Replacing the Clean Power Plan
Trump's attempt to replace Obama's Clean Power Plan (CPP) could have serious consequences for human and earth health.
The CPP has flexibly limited the carbon dioxide emissions of power plants and, according to an analysis by Obama's EPA, has reduced CO2 emissions from power generators by 32 percent by 2030 compared to 2005.
Trump's replacement for the CPP, known as the "Affordable Clean Energy" rule, allows states to set their own emission standards for coal-fired power plants. Earlier this year, EPO Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the plan and said he "provides the utilities with the regulatory security they need to further reduce emissions and provide affordable and reliable energy to all Americans."
But the new rule could cost American lives. According to the EPO's own analysis, Trump's rule could lead to 1,400 more premature deaths by 2030 than within the CPP. Many states and cities also complain about blocking the entry into force of the new regulations.
Offshore opening of public lands and waters for oil and gas wells
Many scientists warn against keeping fossil fuels in the ground Fighting the climate crisis. But Trump's government has moved the US in the opposite direction, opening large parts of the country and offshore waters for oil and gas wells.
In 2017, the government downsized two of Utah's national monuments – Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and Bear Ears – by 51% and 85%, respectively. According to a study published in the journal Science, the removals have deprived Rhode Island's land area of twice the size of its size and have been part of the largest public land reduction in US history. The changes open oil and gas development areas away from national monuments, but both decisions face legal challenges.
The government also urged to open Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil and gas exploration as well as coastal offshore waters as well as the Arctic.
"Pipeline projects may secure long-term production of natural gas and oil and therefore have a very long legacy beyond the next administration," Mann said.
Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement
Trump's decision to pull the US out of the seminal Paris Climate Agreement in 2017, which nearly all countries in the world had agreed to, was a major blow to the global response to the climate crisis ,
The decision sent a message to the rest of the world that the US – who can legally leave the agreement by 2020 – would not lead the global fight against climate change. And studies have shown that the decision has global repercussions: a report from last year has revealed that Trump's decision has made it easier for other countries to meet their climate commitments.
Relaxing Methane Emission Restrictions
Just last week, Trump's EPA announced that oil and gas companies will no longer have to install monitors to detect methane leaks on new wells, tanks and pipelines.
At a time when the US has become the world's largest producer of natural gas and oil, this step is important because of the effectiveness of methane in heat traps. Although gas in the atmosphere does not last as long as CO2, one tonne of methane has 84 to 87 times higher global warming potential than the same amount of CO2 over a 20-year period.
Delaying the Ratification of a Hydrofluorocarbon Contract
Another key global agreement to limit the amount of gas that warms up on the planet has come into force earlier this year, but Trump has not yet sent it to the Senate ratify.
The treaty is called Kigali Amendment and deals with a little-known, but highly effective class of greenhouse gases called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that are used in refrigerators and air conditioners. The gases are sometimes referred to as "super greenhouse gases" because they are capable of trapping large amounts of heat in the atmosphere – they have a heating potential more than 1000 times greater than carbon dioxide.
The Project for Climate Change Solutions, Project Drawdown, has found out that phasing out these chemicals would be the most effective way to stop global warming – eat more than less meat, drive electric cars, or switch to renewable energy.
Ellen Kaufman of CNN, Gregory Wallace, Jen Christensen, Kevin Liptak, Jim Acosta, Mark Tutton, and Veronica Stracqualursi have contributed to this report.