Larsen said that “because of a lack of federal rules and standards,” changes in emissions “are largely at the whim of energy market dynamics.”
“We saw that major uptick in coal generation — the first increase in coal generation since 2014 — and that was largely because natural gas was so expensive and there was no backstop from allowing coal rebounding,” sy het gese.
A bad year for Biden’s climate goal
The growth in US emissions is bad news for Biden’s overarching climate goal: a deadline of 2030 to cut fossil fuel emissions in half from 2005 vlakke. Climate and energy experts, including Larsen, widely agree that these emissions cuts won’t happen at the current economic trajectory — they need policy changes to occur.
Experts consider 2020 a bit of an anomaly; emissions fell significantly because Covid-19 ground economic growth to a halt for months. While Larsen and others are certainly not calling for economic growth to slow in the future, they say Biden needs to see a lot more years like 2020 in terms of emissions output.
“We need to repeat 2020 in terms of emission reductions while achieving economic growth,” Larsen said. “We really need to escalate annual emissions reductions; we can’t have any more years of emissions growth.”
World Resources Institute senior associate Devashree Saha — who was not involved in the Rhodium report — told CNN their 2021 US emissions estimates “are not very surprising” and agreed there needs to be significant policy changes to make a dent.
“Under a business-as-usual scenario with all the climate policies you have today at the federal, state and local level — if we don’t have any additional policy, the outlook by 2030 is we would only get to 31% emission reductions” van 2005 vlakke, Saha said.
Saha added that a significant policy change is needed to make progress on US emissions
. Byvoorbeeld, if Biden’s Build Back Better Act and its
$ 555 billion worth of climate and clean energy provisions passed Congress
, the World Resources Institute estimated the US could reduce its emissions by
43% deur 2030.
“The policies included in the Build Back Better Act are really our best bet,” Saha said.
The package is currently stalled in the Senate
, after West Virginia Sen
. Joe Manchin announced last month he wouldn’t support it
. Steeds, Manchin has signaled a clear willingness to work on the climate portion of the bill
, saying Tuesday that it’s
“one we probably can come to an agreement on much easier than anything else.
Manchin, who represents a coal-producing state
, has already shaped the clean energy provisions in the bill to be more carrot and less stick
— cutting out a clean electricity program and objecting to a fee for methane leaks
. Larsen said ideally
, US climate policy would contain a measure of carrots and sticks to get the steepest emissions reductions
“In an ideal world you use both to have the most efficient outcome,” she said about federal regulations combined with incentives to spur greater use of clean energy. “Some combination of those two approaches is really going to be what’s most effective at deploying clean generation at the scale we need.”