Study: Cutting U.S. Emissions by 50 Percent This Decade Is Possible

With coordinated effort at the local, state, and federal levels, the United States could meet its goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030.

Read Time: 2 minutes

June 7, 2022, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Factory Emissions

Chen Min Chun / Shutterstock

A news release by Aliyah Kovner touts the results of a new study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that found that the United States can achieve its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030, “but big commitments will need to be made, immediately.”

Nikit Abhyankar, one of the study’s authors and a scientist in the Electricity Markets & Policy Department at Berkeley Lab, “notes that the most urgent actions will be to double the amount of renewable capacity built each year and transition predominately to electric vehicles within the next decade or so.” Kovner notes that “Reducing GHG emissions by 50% by 2030 would put the United States on a path to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the target scientists say is required to avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis.”

According to the six techno-economic models analyzed in the study, “The majority of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions come from power generation and transportation, so to reduce overall emissions by 50%, the electricity grid needs to run on 80% clean energy (up from today’s 40%), and the majority of vehicles sold by 2030 need to be electric.” 

The study also calls for a “coordinated policy response between states and the federal government.” The authors point out that “Thanks to advances in wind, solar, and energy storage technologies, powering the electric grid with renewables will not be more expensive; and electric vehicles could save every household up to $1,000 per year in net benefits.” 

Thursday, June 2, 2022 in Berkeley Lab

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