Obama Plan builds on global momentum with major step in regulating carbon pollution Media Release

Aug 04, 2015 - 10:12am

President Obama’s Clean Power Plan is a significant step in regulating carbon pollution and a welcome boost for international climate negotiations but the US can and should do more said The Climate Institute today.

“President Obama’s Clean Power Plan is an historic and significant step in regulating carbon pollution reductions from power stations and in strengthening requirements for renewable energy,” said John Connor, CEO The Climate Institute.

“The plan will help boost momentum for international climate negotiations but needs to be seen as part of broader US efforts which are significant but will need to be strengthened to bring into line with the target of avoid 2°C warming agreed to by the more than 190 countries taking part.”

“The regulations on power stations are just one part of the USA’s commitment to reduce national emissions by around 27 per cent by 2025. Beside driving new investments in clean energy and energy efficiency, this plan would reduce national emissions by around 10 per cent by 2025 with other regulations on cars, trucks and other pollution reduction measures being implemented to achieve the USA overall target.”

“While the detail will be important, the US clean energy plans highlights the serious actions that our major international partners are taking to modernise their power sectors to reduce their economic dependence on coal and other polluting fuels.”

“However the USA can and should do more to reduce pollution. To play its part in avoiding 2°C the USA will need to accelerate action after 2025.”

The USA’s current international undertakings imply a 40 per cent emissions reduction below 2005 levels by by 2030 to help achieve its stated 80 percent target by 2050.

“The plan comes as Australia is set to decide on its post 2020 climate pollution targets next week. Australia should follow the US in setting a 2025 target to maximise flexibility to take advantage of developments in technology, global carbon markets and policy.”

“Our analysis recommends that, to do our bit in helping achieve the internationally agreed goal of avoiding 2°C warming, Australia should set a target of 45 per cent reduction off 2005 levels by 2025.”

“Central to Australia’s response must be a plan to modernise and decarbonise our power sector which is propped up by aging and highly polluting coal fired power plants.”

“Perhaps the most important aspect of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan is the signal it sends on global trends, the focus is growing internationally on modernising energy systems with growing regulation on carbon pollution and greater incentives for renewables,” concluded Connor.

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