Carbon emission is one of the sparking challenges faced by the world right now. While every nation is endorsing the concept of climate change, no one is ready to take actual measures to curb it.
President Joe Biden promised to take serious actions on climate change during his presidential campaign. The United States is the second-largest polluter of the earth, just behind China.
As UNICEF warned the world about the imminent danger, now the US administration’s eyes are also opening, which is a good initiative.
How is the Biden administration fighting to curb the dangerous emissions? Let’s see.
Getting Back to the Paris Accord: Biden’s Reversal of Trump’s Policies
The first major step of the United States towards controlling CO2 emission is to adopt a series of new policies that will put the country on the path of reducing carbon emissions to half by 2035.
President Joe Biden pledged during this his presidential campaign and as his new commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.
President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement, being a skeptic of climate change. Biden pledged to rejoin the agreement during his campaign and did so immediately after taking office.
Biden rejoined the agreement formally in February during a two-day virtual summit. Biden pledged to reduce carbon emissions by half by 2035 as the ”nationally determined contribution.”
This was the first step to reach the net-zero emission economy by 2050.
New legislation introduced in the United States Congress and new directives of the Biden administration will lead the country in the right direction.
These bills include the number of steps that will be taken to reduce carbon emission and establish new sources of clean energy.
This budget bill includes a clean energy investment, transportation tax incentives, polluter fees, electricity rebates, and many more innovative ways to fight the rising threat of global warming.
This is one of the reasons why progressives are putting so much effort into passing it as early as possible through budgetary reconciliation.
Reducing Carbon Emission to Half, With or Without Congress
After four years of environmental regulation rollback by former President Donald Trump, the Biden administration has once again started working on it but is facing serious complications due to hectic processes and time-consuming formalities.
Due to the complications involved in legal processes, many policymakers have also suggested using avenues other than laws and legislation to meet the climate goals.
These other roads may include awareness campaigns that are already underway, encouraging investors to invest in clean energy sources, and complicating the process involved with an investment in carbon-emitting industries.
The Biden administration is already using many paths; for example, using the Environmental Protection Agency to pass rules such as limitation of usage of planet-warming chemicals.
The goal of reducing carbon emission to half by 2035 is no easy task and will never be acquired through Congress only. The administration will have to use every possible way to make it happen.
One-fifth of the US gasses come from industries. The industries are responsible for direct emission due to the use of fossil fuels and chemical processes.
The Biden administration is focusing on reducing carbon emissions from industries by energy efficiency, fuel switching, use of renewable energy, and recycling of materials.
The industries with no existing low emission alternatives require carbon capture and storage to reduce the emissions on a long-term basis.
Five Ways to Achieve the Emission Reduction Target and Reduce Climate Change
Many policymakers have suggested that reduction of carbon emission is possible even without taking extensive congressional actions.
However, it requires the expansion of existing state and federal policies. Following are five ways that could be used to achieve the target of fewer carbon emissions without bold congressional actions.
- Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) are produced by refrigerants and other such devices. Manufacturers have already started to develop refrigerators and other devices that produce fewer HFCs. The need is to eliminate every device that produces HFC, and to exchange it with a new device producing less toxic materials. This could seriously reduce the carbon footprints globally, undoing the damage to the ozone layers without much legislation.
- Methane is regularly emitted by natural gas systems. The Environmental Protection Agency could easily set specific standards for existing and new natural gas producers to use methane capture technologies.
- The Federal Aviation Administration and Environmental Protection Agency could both collaborate and play a role in reducing carbon emission from aircraft by introducing new and innovative processes that could reduce delays and establish more precise routes.
- The Environmental Protection Agency should set ambitious performance standards for industries and promote voluntary actions such as EnergyStar certification that could help reduce carbon emission without having to use Congress to introduce curbs on the industrial sector.
- The Department of Energy could expand the appliance efficiency standards for cutting electricity use and reducing the level of emissions.
The clock is ticking so fast that any more laziness will push the world into chaos. Having a pro-climate government in the US is a welcoming sign, but politics must not hinder the process.
The climate-skeptic Republicans will burn the midnight oil to further their agenda, but a combination of legislative and non-legislative actions is what we need to solve the imminent disaster.
The everlasting trade war should also never come in the oath of climate change, as it is one of the most prominent threats to the global environment.