How the US Can Cut Carbon Emissions in Half by 2030, with or without Congress – BU

Written by Jessica Colarossi

BU environment and climate experts are hoping to see major changes in the next nine years, including investments in clean energy, alternative transportation, and more

For decades, climate experts have warned of the dire consequences of failing to lower planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions that come from burning fossil fuels—from deadly heat waves to droughts to severe floods. These climate change–fueled disasters can sound like biblical plagues, but the quicker the economy transitions to a clean energy economy, scientists agree that more frequent and even worse disasters will be avoided. To move the US further along the carbon-free path, President Joe Biden has announced his administration’s goals for reducing the country’s greenhouse gas pollution by 50 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2030.

“[This] decade is a crucial window in which we need to cut emissions dramatically in order to have a chance of meeting the ultimate goal of being carbon neutral by 2050, which is what the science informs us our goal must be,” says Jacqueline Ashmore, clean energy researcher and executive director of BU’s Institute for Sustainable Energy.

It’s a new way forward after four years of environmental regulation rollbacks by the Trump administration, which Biden and his team have already begun reinstating. With so much at stake, and a lot of policy decisions to keep track of, there is still a long road ahead to transforming the energy economy in a short window of time, with no singular path to get there. That is why utilizing every possible path for change, other than laws and legislation, will be critical for meeting those goals to ultimately save our own species, and millions of others, on the planet.

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By Alessandra Leone
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