If the US is to hit two degree targets, all the coal they will ever be allowed to burn has already been leased.
The US would need to immediately ban federal leasing of coal and restrict public leasing if it is to hit the global target.
Climate advocacy group, NextGen Climate America, asked research outfit Carbon Tracker to see how rapid and aggressive decarbonisation would have to be to limit global average temperature to no more than a 2C above pre-industrial levels.
They have concluded that if the government is serious about the target, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell’s temporary ban on federal coal leasing in January would have to be made total and permanent.
Hitting it would entail such a steep decline in coal usage that even recently leased public coal would never be mined or burned.