The U.S. will fall short of its stated greenhouse gas emissions reductions goals despite market-driven reductions unless it undertakes new reduction policies, according to a new report.
An assessment by Rhodium Group determined the U.S. is on track to reduce emissions between 24% and 35% by 2030 because of slower economic growth and high fossil fuel prices, but will fall short of President Joe Biden’s goal to reduce emissions by up to 52% by 2030 unless policymakers step in.
The report found that a rebound in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions after a pandemic-induced drop, the war in Ukraine and global responses to war and other geopolitical and economic circumstances have affected greenhouse gas emissions, and uncertainty in the economic home front and in the ability to regulate emissions have largely stalled progress in addressing the climate crisis.
The industrial sector is expected to overtake the transportation sector and power generation sectors as the largest source of emissions.
According to the report, the industrial sector could increase emissions by 10% if it continues to rely on natural gas as a fuel and feedstock. The report found that only a handful of current policies, like the federal tax credit for carbon capture and sequestration and federal and state policies that target hydrofluorocarbons reductions affect industrial emissions.
Transportation sector emissions are expected to decline by at least 12% and up to 25% due to fuel economy improvements and electric vehicles, and power generation sector emissions are expected to decline due to coal plant retirements but will vary between 25% and 52% depending on whether companies choose natural gas or renewable energy for electricity production.
The Rhodium Group’s report is available here.