Sunday, April 14, 2024

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The US Is Unlikely To Achieve Its Climate Goals

Since President Biden took office 18 months ago, he put a huge priority on climate change. He has put in multiple policies as well as new climate goals for the US to achieve. Yet, despite the administration’s efforts, it’s unlikely these goals are achievable.

A recent report by the Rhodium Group found that the window for the US to achieve these new climate goals is shrinking fast. While the government has been passing policies that will help lower the country’s carbon footprint, it’s not enough.

For reference, the current climate goal of the US is to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions to 50-52% below 2005 levels by 2030. With the current policy in mind, the US is on track to see a 17-25% reduction in greenhouse gases.

That’s less than half of the goal, assuming future administrations don’t undo these policies.

What’s the Problem?

On the outside, it may seem like the administration is updating existing regulations, or creating a new one entirely on a weekly basis. While this is true, to actually say they are being implemented is completely false.

If there’s one thing everyone knows it’s that it takes time for policies in the US to pass. It takes even longer to see the changes they cause.

Even if a policy or piece of legislation is created, it could take upwards of a year before it could be implemented, or potentially dismissed. And a simple glance at the calendar tells us we are halfway through 2022. So, 2030 is in another 7 and a half years, which doesn’t give us a lot of time.

The window to pass meaningful legislation that could significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in that time frame is really short.

There’s also the risk that a new administration may replace the existing one and promote anti-climate change policies. Not only would that make the US goal impossible, but it would also make the Paris Agreement impossible.

As we have seen with this administration and the last, executive orders can be replaced on the first day in office.

That said, the most recent announcement to curb methane emissions is the biggest step forward yet. And other nations are following suit. Without a doubt, the gridlock in our legislation process is to blame.

After all, congress could be a very different place in six months.

November Could Decide Climate Goals For the US

Vote

Anyone who has paid attention to politics in the US should be well aware that there is an even split in the Senate.

And if the current polls are to be believed, this November may change that in favor of the Republicans. If this happens, it would certainly end any chance of passing climate legislation for the next two years, which makes the US goals impossible to achieve.

While policies from the EPA and by executive order can still be implemented, they can only go so far. Not to mention that they will likely be challenged in court.

But amidst recovery efforts from the pandemic and a war between Russia and Ukraine, the administration can only do so much. And with inflation the way it is, providing any more funding for climate change is unlikely.

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Robert Giaquinto

Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.

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