Biden has set an extremely ambition target of cutting US emissions by 50% in the next 8 years.
There is no doubt that this is required, if we look at the science this is around about what is required to keep 1.5 degrees of warming still within reach; but can it be done?
Electricity generation: Solar wind and any other renewables would have to make up at least half of the USA generation capacity – this is doable, so long as people get to work straight away – as this is far faster than current federal estimates. Some of this is well under way: it is already often uneconomical to keep burning coal in coal fired power plants, forget new ones.
Transportation: Transportation currently makes up 29% of USA emissions. At the moment, only 2% of USA new cars sold are electric. That must climb to near 100% by 2030. There have been many promises from car companies, but these must be brought forwards if this is going to happen. In terms of cargo by roads, progress is likely to be faster. This is because lorries run on electricity are so much cheaper – at the moment it is estimated that electric trucks are 25 cents cheaper to run per mile, which given the average lorry drives over 13,000 miles a year is a saving of at least $3000 dollars. This ignores the fact that electric lorries are also far cheaper to maintain. Short haul flights are likely to start going electric by 2030 – many of the airline builders are aiming for full aircraft tests in 2026 – and this switch-over is likely to be faster, as the savings are greater.
There are other areas that need work, such as improving insulation in buildings, but the point is that America can actually cut its emissions as far as required without big sacrifices.
Now, this does need to be carried out in all parts of America – including those run by republicans or other groups. We can only hope and encourage from the side lines. Due to the amount of emissions that the USA emits, their failure will damage us all.