Hal Harvey’s Insights And Updates: Congressional Climate Plan Is A Bet Your Country Moment
America faces a bet-your-country moment. Much of this beautiful, prosperous, and bountiful country will become unrecognizable unless we act, promptly and seriously, to limit climate change.
Despite clean energy’s economic and job opportunities, and scientific warnings that net zero emissions are needed by 2050 to prevent the worst impacts of climate change , Trump’s federal government has worked to implement policies that increase pollution.
Fortunately, for the first time in history, Members of Congress have produced a comprehensive plan to decarbonize the entire U.S. economy, while bringing U.S. emissions to net zero by 2050.
The U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, created to deliver comprehensive climate policy recommendations for Congress to act upon, has released their recommendations in a report titled Solving the Climate Crisis: The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient and Just America .
After months of hearings with climate and energy experts from across the country, meetings with myriad industry leaders, and careful research, this document outlines a detailed strategy to bring the world’s largest economy to net zero emissions by mid-century.
The work is remarkable not only because it is comprehensive and ambitious. It is also designed, at its core, to generate economic and health benefits. The report contains sections on transition assistance for coal miners. It covers frontline communities, currently saddled with exposure from toxic fumes and more. It is keenly attuned to the health benefits of a clean energy future.
In other words, justice and equity are at the core of its design.
In Select Committee testimony last year, I had the opportunity to lay out the large-scale, fast actions Congress could take to cut emissions while strengthening our communities and economy. Before the report was released, the Select Committee requested an Energy Innovation analysis of a subset of their recommendations to determine their impact.
Using our non-partisan and peer-reviewed Energy Policy Simulator (EPS) to model key Climate Crisis Action Plan recommendations, we found they would transform the U.S. energy system through an 88 percent reduction in net GHG emissions compared to 2010 levels by 2050, with carbon dioxide emissions reaching net zero in 2048. The package of policies would also avoid an estimated 62,000 premature deaths annually by 2050 and deliver nearly $8 trillion in climate and health benefits by 2050.
This brighter future is ours for the taking.
Net U.S. greenhouse gas reductions by policy under Select Committee on the Climate Crisis Action Plan
We recently held a webinar with Select Committee staff to discuss the Climate Crisis Action Plan and our modeling and methodology, covering topics like clean electricity, industrial sector decarbonization, transportation...