In recent years, states and corporations, not the federal government, have taken serious climate change action and President-elect Joe Biden is also expected to lean on states while showing the United States’ progress on a world stage, according to a new report.
However, rhetoric by companies on the issue will face a test in upcoming years, reports Axios.
The trend has been driven because of many factors, including cheaper clean energy technology, and according to a report from the Clean Air Task force, an environmental group:
- Nine states have enacted standards since 2018 that mandate electricity companies to eventually emit zero carbon dioxide. That represents more than 20% of U.S. electric sales.
- Nearly 30 states have also pledged new and aggressive carbon reduction goals since 2018, and when combined with the above nine states, the goals cover more than 50% of electricity emissions.
- Almost 10,000 companies have disclosed their environmental footprints, including on climate change, a new report from CDP, a nonprofit that focuses on disclosures from corporations. This marks a 70% increase since the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, and a 14% climb compared to last year.
The incoming Biden administration, with international climate change envoy John Kerry, is also expected to lean more heavily on the states considering the limitations of federal policy while making commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement, sources familiar with the transition team said.
In addition, states, cities, and private businesses could make cuts in U.S. emissions by up to 37% by 2030, when compared to levels in 2005, a report compiled by America’s Pledge, a consortium of former state leaders and environmental groups says, and that numbers could climb to almost 50% if the federal government once again engages.
Kerry is already highlighting the change among businesses, telling NPR that “real business people, real leaders within the business world understand that this is an imperative … they also understand that there’s money to be made in producing the products.”
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