Earlier today, the US submitted its plan for controlling greenhouse gas emissions, part of the effort to forge an international climate agreement at a summit meeting in Paris later this year. In doing so, the US becomes one of only a handful of nations to have joined the EU in submitted anything by the end of March, the intended deadline for countries to have a plan formulated.
The document is termed an INDC, for Intended Nationally Determined Contributions. Under the current United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations, the INDCs are intended to show how nations will track their greenhouse gas emissions, and the measures they will take to control them in the future. These documents will serve as part of the process that is intended to produce a binding agreement that will help limit climate change to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures.
The US’ documentation is pretty sparse, coming in at four pages (one of which is largely empty). In it, the US describes its goals: relative to a baseline of 2005 emissions levels, it intends to be 17 percent lower in 2020, and 26-28 percent lower in 2025. These are the same goals laid out in the recent agreement forged between the Obama administration and China. The US is currently close to its 2020 goal already, but will need to accelerate progress further in order to reach the 2030 target.
The document also describes how the country will get there, a section that repeatedly references the Clean Air Act. That provides the authority to regulate emissions from new and existing power plants, continue to tighten fuel economy rules for automobiles, and tighten rules on greenhouse gasses beyond carbon dioxide. Beyond that, the Department of Energy will be continuing its work to ensure that appliances and other consumer hardware are energy-efficient.
Beyond the fact that very few nations have submitted INDCs (you can peruse all six entries should you want to compare the US to Russia or Switzerland), the plan’s main problem is that it’s being actively opposed by states, commercial interests, and the majority party in Congress. Rather than proposing an alternative plan for controlling emissions, however, these groups are simply attempting to block any action whatsoever. As such, the US is left with the current plan or nothing.
- Oil and gas firms urged to work towards net zero British North Sea
- VIETNAM NEWS DECEMBER 1
- Polish-built electric buses take over the European market
- VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS HEADLINES DECEMBER 6
- In Conversation With Barack Obama
- VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS HEADLINES DECEMBER 10
US offers the UN its plan for meeting climate obligations have 414 words, post on arstechnica.com at March 31, 2015. This is cached page on TechNews. If you want remove this page, please contact us.