The United States will not meet its stated greenhouse gas emission reduction targets despite market-driven reductions unless it undertakes new reduction policies, according to a new report.
An evaluation by Rhodium Group determined that the United States is on track to reduce emissions between 24% and 35% by 2030 due to slowing economic growth and high fossil fuel prices, but will not meet the goal of President Joe Biden to cut emissions by up to 52% by 2030 unless policymakers intervene.
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 on the domestic economic front and in the ability to regulate emissions have largely stalled progress in tackling the climate crisis.
The industrial sector is expected to overtake the transport sector and the power generation sectors as the main source of emissions.
According to the report, the industrial sector could increase its emissions by 10% if it continues to depend on natural gas as a fuel and as a raw material. The report found that only a handful of current policies, such as the federal carbon capture and sequestration tax credit and federal and state policies that target hydrofluorocarbon reduction, affect industrial emissions.
Emissions from the transportation sector are expected to decrease by at least 12% and up to 25% due to improved fuel economy and electric vehicles, and emissions from the power generation sector are expected to decrease due to coal-fired plant shutdowns, but will vary between 25% and 52% depending on whether companies choose natural gas or renewables for power generation.