New study reveals exactly how America can reach its 2020 emission reduction goal

Clare Saxon Ghauri
7 February 2013

NEW YORK: A new study by the World Resources Institute (WRI) reveals that the US owns the necessary tools to get back on track to achieve its goal of cutting emissions 17% by 2020.

The new report, Can the US Get There from Here?, analyzes a precise pathway that the US Administration and states must take in order to slash emissions, without action from Congress.

Low carbon pathway

Clearly outlined in the report are four key steps America must take to reduce emissions 17% by 2020:

  • Apply carbon dioxide pollution standards to existing power plants (of which are currently responsible for one third of US emissions).
  • Increase industrial and domestic energy efficiency.
  • Limit non-energy emission sources.
  • Reduce methane emissions from natural gas production.

The analysis also finds that states can also have a big impact on emissions reductions. Twenty-nine states already have renewable energy standards and 20 states have implemented energy efficiency measures.

Obama's agenda

Dr. Andrew Steer, President, World Resources Institute said: “President Obama has put tackling climate change high on his agenda. Our analysis shows that with strong leadership and ambitious action the Administration can make a significant dent in US emissions. Meeting the 17% target would signal that the US is serious about climate change at home and would enhance US leadership on the international stage.”

Amy Davidsen, US Director, The Climate Group said: “This report demonstrates that leadership at the national and sub-national level can put the US on a path to achieve its near-term emission reduction targets. California’s pioneering carbon market and New York City's comprehensive PlaNYC 2030 being two key examples.

An American Clean Revolution is clearly within reach. Now our government leaders must take the bold steps needed to achieve it."

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By Clare Saxon

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