President Joe Biden stated that he would demand all corporations that power American homes to reduce carbon emissions by 2035.
According to the government, it will be the first approach toward the United States meeting its climate targets. In light of deteriorating climatic conditions, several environmental organizations have urged governments worldwide to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, even as the Biden administration advocates for cleaner energy sources, the country’s power business is unwilling to abandon fossil fuels.
Many businesses are already using natural gas to power their residences. The US Energy Information Administration estimates that the country will build natural gas plants capable of powering more than 12.8 million households. While natural gas emits fewer pollutants than coal, primary plant operations have the potential to discharge huge volumes of methane into the environment.
“If you’re going to kick that 20% of coal off the grid by 2030 or 2035, there is zero chance you can do that without increasing gas,” said Andy Devries, an analyst from CreditSights.
“After the coal’s off the grid, how much longer does it take to kick the gas off? That’s at least another ten years. And that’s aggressive,” he added.
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Larger carbon cuts needed
Scientists emphasized the importance of considerably reducing carbon emissions. However, they warned that tiny and progressive reductions would not aid the recovery of the environment. It will instead result in more damaging storms, heat waves, and flooding in the future.
Experts praised the trend for investing in solar power, which would result in the construction of 45 gigatonnes of solar and wind facilities next year. However, the environment will suffer because more significant emissions are predicted next year.
“The consensus is that we need to be at zero greenhouse gas emissions economy-wide by about 2050. To avert the worst impacts of climate change,” said Ben King from the Rhodium Group.
“There is no reason to take any utility’s net-zero commitment seriously. Especially if they are investing in anything that emits new CO2 or has any new emissions,” added Daniel Tait from the Energy and Policy Institute.
“The more we accelerate and keep putting greenhouse gasses into the climate now, the more we have a chance of reaching tipping points in the Earth’s system. If you start to get to these tipping points, our climate starts to change in ways that are possibly irreversible. And possibly self-perpetuating,” explained Lisa Dillling, an environmental studies professor at the University of Colorado Boulder.
To end emissions
Environmental organizations underscored the need to reduce carbon emissions during Egypt’s United Nations climate summit. The objective is to keep the world’s temperature from increasing.
“We need to rapidly plan out the phase down and phase out of coal, oil and gas. Especially in rich, large countries,” said Manish Bapna, the CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
“I don’t think [people] quite understand how unprecedented, how monumentally challenging the task is to remake the energy system essentially,” added Ryan Sweezey from Wood Mackenzie.
“Developers are taking a second look at natural gas and saying, ‘Is this going to be a prudent, long-term investment, given both expected higher gas prices into the future as well as just how inexpensive it is to deploy technologies like wind and solar and batteries?” asked King, a member of the Rhodium Group.
Photo Credit: Tatiana Grozetskaya