President Barack Obama launched a fresh defense of emissions curbs against Donald Trump's plans to scrap a global climate deal, saying the accord was in America's interest on Monday. Writing in the journal Science, Obama said that the United States was proving that reducing greenhouse gases can help economic growth.
Reforms can "can boost efficiency, productivity, and innovation," he wrote. "Specifically, CO2 emissions from the energy sector fell by 9.5 percent from 2008 to 2015, while the economy grew by more than 10 percent. The importance of this trend cannot be understated. This 'decoupling' of energy sector emissions and economic growth should put to rest the argument that combatting climate change requires accepting lower growth or a lower standard of living."
Obama's eight years in office have resulted in a tidal wave of new environmental legislation, protecting marine ecosystems, curbing carbon emissions and boosting renewable energy.
RELATED: President Obama Bans All Seismic Airgun Blasting in the Atlantic Ocean
Obama rushed through ratification of the Paris Climate Accord in record time to make sure that it could not be shelved by the incoming administration.
"The business case for clean energy is growing," Obama wrote in the article's conclusion, "and the trend toward a cleaner power sector can be sustained regardless of near-term federal policies. The latest science and economics provide a helpful guide for what the future may bring, in many cases independent of near-term policy choices, when it comes to combatting climate change and transitioning to a clean-energy economy."
But Obama's agenda is likely to come under sustained assault from the Trump administration.
Administration officials fear that while Trump cannot scrap the Paris deal, it could fatally undermine it.
Many of the U.S. commitments to reduce carbon emissions are in the Clean Power Act, which Obama unveiled in 2015. The Act limits the amount of carbon pollution power plants can emit.
Sources familiar with Trump's transition planning say the new administration is weighing options like simply shutting down the government's legal defense of the act, or scrapping plans to appeal a Supreme Court ruling that froze portions of the program.
WATCH: What Has Obama Accomplished as President?