Carnegie Mellon University researchers have calculated that the U.S. can meet–or even beat–the near-term carbon dioxide emission reductions required by the United Nations Paris Agreement, despite the Trump Administration’s withdrawal of the Clean Power Plan (CPP).
Published in an Environmental Science & Technology viewpoint, the CMU team used data from U.S. Energy Information Administration’s 2017 Annual Energy Outlook to examine projected power sector carbon dioxide emissions to determine if the CPP emission targets for 2020, 2025 and 2030 can still be met. They found that emissions declined from 2.7 billion tons to an estimated 1.9 billion tons and revealed a strong link to natural gas prices as being a driving market force. The decrease puts U.S. emissions reduction at the CPP’s planned 2025 target this year.
Our work shows that the U.S. power sector could meet the Paris Agreement goals even without the Clean Power Plan, and that the path to compliance can be a collection of politically feasible, minimally invasive actions–if we plan ahead and start now,” said David Rode, a recent Ph.D. graduate from the Department of Social and Decision Sciences.Saving the world one well at a time.