On Wednesday, ICF, a global consulting and technology services provider, released a new report that projects how the United States could achieve its goal of a net-zero economy by 2050.
The report finds that achieving U.S. climate goals is possible through existing measures—transportation electrification, building decarbonization, and clean energy—and charts practical, achievable pathways for each measure.
According to the ICF report, U.S. federal agencies, state and local governments, and utilities will need to work together to increase electric vehicles by 100 times the current number of EVs on the road, install more than a billion decarbonization measures in buildings, and increase renewable energy to 85 per cent of total electricity generation to meet national climate goals.
The report also modelled the impact of two signature U.S. climate laws, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), finding that the laws could reduce enough planet-warming greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to get the U.S. halfway to its climate goals.
To slow the impacts of climate change and address its causes, the U.S. government set ambitious climate goals in 2021: to reduce GHG emissions by 50–52 per cent by 2030 relative to 2005, and to achieve a net-zero economy by 2050. To help accelerate GHG reductions and build resilience to the impacts of climate change, President Biden signed the BIL into law in 2021 and the IRA in 2022.
“The U.S. is making major progress on the climate goals it set just two years ago, and more can be done,” said Michael Jung, executive director of the ICF Climate Center. “While the current progress alone won’t achieve U.S. climate goals, technologies and approaches that exist today could help get the U.S. all the way there.”