Ambitious but realistic increase in clean energy would cut GHG emissions by 80% in the U.S.

NRDC report says goal can be achieved with existing tools.

October 04, 2017 |
A solar array

The U.S. can cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% percent by 2050 with an “ambitious, but realistic, increase in clean energy,” according to a National Resources Defense Council report.

America’s Clean Energy Frontier: The Pathway to a Safer Climate Future says that such a reduction could be achieved almost entirely with tools available today. Recommended steps are:

More ambitious investments in efficient and/or electric vehicles, appliance, buildings, and industrial plants to cut energy use by almost half.

Dramatic expansion of renewable energy so that wind and solar power represent at least 70% of the nation’s electricity mix by 2050. This near-zero-carbon electricity would displace direct use of fossil fuels.

Lower-carbon fuels such as clean biofuels produced from sustainable biomass would be used for remaining uses that are currently hard to replace with electricity (e.g., airplanes, trucks, and steel manufacturing).

A stronger, modernized electricity grid would have to be built to better support renewable energy resources and energy efficiency.

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