US lagging in meeting 2020 greenhouse gas target

The US is currently “not on track” to meet its target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 17% by 2020. New research by the World Resources Institute (WRI) claims President […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The US is currently “not on track” to meet its target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 17% by 2020.

New research by the World Resources Institute (WRI) claims President Barack Obama will have to take additional steps in order to reach the nation’s goal.

The analysis suggests the President’s Administration could implement “strong standards” for carbon dioxide pollution from existing power plants and reduce non-energy sources of emissions, including hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), commonly found in refrigerators and air conditioners. It also suggests limiting methane emissions from natural gas production and increasing energy efficiency from industry and home appliances.

Nicholas Bianco, Senior Associate at the WRI and Lead Author of the report said: “The Administration has multiple ways to move forward with smart policies to reduce US emissions. The best opportunity is to enact new standards for existing power plants, which represent one-third of all U.S. emissions. The Administration has the ability to put the U.S. on track to meet its commitments and can do so in a cost-effective and efficient manner.”

According to the report, 29 US states have renewable energy standards and 20 have energy efficiency standards and the researchers suggest the states could also play their part. The UK has a target of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.