In 2012, U.S. carbon pollution from the energy sector fell to the lowest level in two decades even as the economy continued to grow. To build on this progress, the Obama Administration is putting in place tough new rules to cut carbon pollution.
The plan calls for the EPA to work closely with states, industry and other stakeholder to establish carbon pollution standards for both new and existing power plants.The plan makes up to $8 billion in loan guarantee authority available for a wide array of advanced fossil energy and efficiency projects to support investments in innovative technologies. The plan also directs DOI to permit enough renewables project—like wind and solar – on public lands by 2020 to power more than 6 million homes and designates the first-ever hydro-power project for priority permitting; and sets a new goal to install 100 megawatts of renewables on federally assisted housing by 2020; while maintaining the commitment to deploy renewables on military installations.
The climate plan will focus on helping commercial, industrial, and multi-family buildings cut waste and become at least 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020. It also sets a goal to reduce carbon pollution by at least 3 billion metric tons cumulatively by 2030 – more than half of the annual carbon pollution from the U.S. energy sector – through efficiency standards set over the course of the Administration for appliances and federal buildings.
The plan expects to leverage new opportunities to reduce pollution of highly-potent greenhouse gases known as hydrofluorocarbons; and directs agencies to develop a comprehensive methane strategy.
The Presidents new plan directs agencies to support local climate-resilient investment by removing barriers or counter-productive policies and modernizing programs; and establishes a short-term task force of state, local, and tribal officials to advise on key actions the Federal government can take to help strengthen communities on the ground;
Just as no country is immune from the impacts of climate change, no country can meet this challenge alone. That is why it is imperative for the United States to couple action at home with leadership internationally, said the President. "America must help forge a truly global solution to this global challenge by galvanizing international action to significantly reduce emissions, prepare for climate impacts, and drive progress through the international negotiations."
The plan commits to expand major new and existing international initiatives, including bilateral initiatives with China, India, and other major emitting countries. It also calls for the end of U.S. government support for public financing of new coal-fired powers plants overseas, except for the most efficient coal technology available in the world's poorest countries, or facilities deploying carbon capture and sequestration technologies; and strengthens global resilience to climate change by expanding government and local community planning and response capacities.