A new analysis by the World Resources Institute finds that the United States is not currently on track to meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 17% in 2020, however the tools do exist to get there. The Administration and individual states can take steps to reduce emissions without Congressional action, as stated in the report, “Can the U.S. Get There from Here?” President Obama has stated that tracking climate change is high on his agenda, and the U.S. will be taken more seriously about climate change if the 17 percent goal is achieved. Actions that can be taken by the Administration include implementing strong standards for carbon dioxide pollution from existing power plants and limiting methane emissions from natural gas production. States can also take meaningful action on their own, such as implementing renewable energy standards or placing a cap on emissions in the power sector. Although the U.S. can quite easily reach the 17 percent reduction goal by taking such action, much deeper reductions are necessary to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. These long-term reductions will most likely need Congress intervention, however in the mean time the Administration and states can have an influence on reducing U.S. emissions.
Source: World Resources Institute – News Release