The energy executive order (EO) that US President Trump signed last week will most certainly lead to the US missing its 2025 Paris Agreement commitment, but it will not fully reverse existing trends on renewables or efficient cars.
The Climate Action Tracker (CAT) said on Friday that the executive order, if carried out in full, will result in 2025 and 2030 emissions in the US that are roughly similar to these today. To meet the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement the US needs to achieve a 13% decrease in emissions on 2014 levels.
Yvonne Deng of Ecofys said that the falling cost of renewable energy and storage, and the measures taken by US states and local authorities are “unstoppable market pressures”, which will continue to drive emissions down. The main effect of the executive order is that it will cancel new policies in other areas planned by the Obama administration, which would have helped further cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
"Clean energy installations—wind and solar—have grown rapidly in recent years in the United States and account for the largest share of new electricity capacity in 2016, a pattern set to continue in future years."
The CAT team also says in its briefing that even though the order directs for the “suspending, revising, and rescinding” of a number of policies currently in force, the impact on emissions would be delayed because any move to make changes is likely to be subject to legal disputes over the coming years.
The Executive Order on “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth” would warrant an “inadequate” CAT rating for the US. This means that the level of action, if followed by all other countries, would put the planet on a pathway consistent with a four degree Celsius global average warming.
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