Although the Trump Administration formally began to withdraw from the 2015 Paris Agreement in April 2019, federal, regional, state, and local efforts to combat global warming remain strong.
And while climate change cannot be stopped completely, actions taken throughout the United States can hinder its progress.
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, zero net emissions must be achieved by 2050 or before to avoid the worst consequences of global warming. This means less carbon must be released into the Earth’s atmosphere than is removed. To help achieve this goal, the United States must promote the use of renewable energy, improve energy efficiency, and work to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.
Organizations and activists in all 50 states are steadily making progress in the battle against climate change. In the past few years, they have taken a number of steps on the path to promote global warming solutions.
Improving Energy Efficiency
To achieve zero emissions, the United States continues to transform the way energy is produced and used. Commercial and residential buildings account for approximately 40% of all energy use in the United States. Federal energy efficiency guidelines are a driving force in reducing emissions from power plants. And they have helped to significantly increase the efficiency of homes, commercial buildings, appliances, and motor vehicles.
Clean Energy Technologies
Organizations throughout the United States are working diligently to steer Americans away from coal-fired power, oil, and gas and encouraging clean energy technologies to slash emissions. Wind power, for instance, which surged in 2015, now represents approximately 41% of new capacity in the U.S. Utility-scale solar power experienced explosive growth in recent years as well. And despite low fuel prices, more Americans than ever are driving electric vehicles. About 6% of the world’s energy is provided by nuclear power, but new technologies are emerging to increase the use of geothermal energy, hydropower, and bioenergy as well.
Removing Carbon Dioxide from the Atmosphere
Forest degradation accounts for approximately 12% of greenhouse gas emissions globally. Forests play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Forests absorb approximately one-third of the carbon dioxide that is released by burning fossil fuels, and forests account for about one-third of climate change mitigation necessary to comply with the Paris Agreement. To help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, the United States is restoring old forests (reforestation), protecting existing forests, and planting new ones.
Carbon Capture and Storage Projects
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies are essential for addressing climate change and the United States is paving the way with a number of innovative projects. In fact, the U.S. is the worldwide leader in the deployment of large-scale CSS facilities. With 10 large-scale CCS facilities across the country, the United States currently captures approximately 25 mtpa of carbon dioxide. Additionally, innovative projects that feature ammonia production, direct air capture, and CO2 storage hubs are currently under development.
The fight to delay global warming is far from over and the number of lawsuits against oils and gas giants like ExxonMobil, Phillips 66, and Chevron continues to grow. Nevada workers’ compensation attorney Jason D. Mills advocates for the rights of American workers and remains committed to helping communities prosper.