US to miss Paris accord target

Source:AFP Published: 2018/9/12 22:33:40

Report shows Washington to fall short by one third

The US will fall short by a third on its commitment under the Paris climate treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a report released Wednesday in San Francisco.

A crescendo of efforts at the sub-national level by states, cities and businesses to shrink the country's carbon footprint will not fully compensate for President Donald Trump's decision to scrap his predecessor's climate policies and promote the use of fossil fuels, it found.

"The Obama target was always going to be a stretch," co-author Paul Bodnar, managing director of the Rocky Mountain Institute, told journalists.

"This work shows definitively that states, cities and businesses have the power to bring the nation to the brink of that ambitious target through their own authorities."

Financed by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, the Fulfilling America's Pledge report kicks off the three-day Global Climate Action Summit, a gathering of several thousand governors, mayors, business leaders and climate activists from around the world.

"Current federal and real economy commitments, combined with market forces, will drive US emissions to 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 - roughly two-thirds of the way to the original US target," the report found.

Under the 196-nation Paris Agreement, the United States made a voluntary pledge to cut carbon pollution 26-28 percent by 2025.

The 2015 treaty marked the first time that all countries - including emerging giants such as China and India - laid out specific targets for greening their economies.

The new projections are conservative so far as they assume no help from the federal government over the next six years.

But even without a Democrat in the White House in 2020, up to 90 percent of US targets could still be met if non-state actors double down on climate action, they found.

On Monday, outgoing governor Jerry Brown signed legislation committing the state to purging greenhouse gases from its electricity grid by 2045, replaced by energy generated mostly by solar and wind power.

Posted in: AMERICAS

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