Last month, California Governor Jerry Brown and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg published a report, Fulfilling America’s Pledge, finding that notwithstanding the Trump Administration’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement in June 2017, the country is almost halfway to reaching its Paris Agreement target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025. The report finds that the bottom-up efforts of state and local governments, businesses, and other actors across the country will continue to drive the U.S. towards meeting its Paris pledge.
The report also identifies readily available, near-term strategies that, if fully implemented at the state and local level, could drive down emissions to 21% below 2005 levels by 2025. These include rapid deployment of renewable energy resources and electric vehicles, accelerated retirement of coal, deployment of ambitious residential and commercial building efficiency standards, phasing out the use of hydrofluorocarbons, reducing methane emissions from oil and gas facilities, enhancing carbon sequestration activities, and forming state coalitions on carbon pricing.
However, the report notes that “Federal reengagement undertaken as rapidly as possible will be essential in sustaining and accelerating the needed breadth and depth of emissions reductions across all sectors of the U.S. economy, both to close any remaining gap in [emissions reductions to meet 2025 goals] and for long-term decarbonization.”