The US power sector must cut carbon emissions by 30% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels under new rules proposed by the Government.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled new guidelines under the Clean Power Plan proposal, which is expected to move the US towards a “cleaner environment and help fight climate change”.
It follows through on the steps laid out in President Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plan last year and is one of the most significant environmental rules proposed by the US, which relies on coal for nearly 38% of electricity.
The proposal provides guidelines for states to develop plans to meet state-specific goals to cut carbon pollution such as choosing a diverse range of fuels, energy efficiency and demand-side management.
Power plants currently account for roughly one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions in the US.
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said: “By leveraging cleaner energy sources and cutting energy waste, this plan will clean the air we breathe while helping slow climate change so we can leave a safe and healthy future for our kids. We don’t have to choose between a healthy economy and a healthy environment–our action will sharpen America’s competitive edge, spur innovation and create jobs.”