US Preparations for COP21

The US formally submitted its 2025 emissions target to the UNFCC on March 31st 2015 in preparation for the international climate change conference to be held in Paris later this year.  This conference, referred to as COP21, is the 21st meeting of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The US submission, referred to as an “Intended Nationally Determined Contribution” (INDC), states that the US will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025 and will make “best efforts” to reduce them by 28%.

The complete text of the submission can be found HERE.

Our Perspective  – Nothing in the submission indicates where the 26-28% reduction figure comes from although the submission states that, “this target is consistent with a straight line emission reduction pathway from 2020 to deep economy-wide emission reduction of 80% or more by 2050”.  What is clearly missing is any indication of how the Administration envisions getting from a 28% reduction in 2025 to an 80% reduction in 2050!

Two things should be done before the start of the Paris conference.  First of all, the Administration needs to demonstrate that its widely touted Climate Action Plan will actually yield a 26-28% reduction in emissions by 2025.  Secondly, the Administration needs to provide a quantitative analysis that provides one or more believable pathways for achieving an 80% emissions reduction by 2050.