The United States has committed globally to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. In the absence of comprehensive climate change legislation, the Obama administration has significant tools at its disposal to achieve this goal under existing federal laws. While the administration has reaffirmed its commitment to this target, it has not yet matched that commitment with adequate action. Significant progress has been made in some areas, most notably with recent vehicle fuel efficiency rules, yet other opportunities remain untapped. Because the U.S. remains far from the trajectory it needs to be on to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, it is imperative that the administration moves forward with strong action now.
WRI has a long history of producing timely analysis that examines the impact and value of federal policies. For example, WRI’s recent report Can the U.S. Get There From Here? identified four major opportunities for the U.S. to achieve its 2020 emissions reduction target, including ambitious action under the Clean Air Act on new and existing power plants, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and methane emissions from natural gas systems combined with increased energy efficiency.
WRI also convenes a variety of
Congress, business, and state and
local governments, to think through practical solutions to achieve ambitious regulations.