House Democrats will present an aggressive “action plan” for the climate crisis on Tuesday to almost eliminate US emissions by 2050, according to summarized documents reviewed by The Guardian.
The zero net emissions target is what United Nations leaders and the scientific community say the world must achieve to avoid the worst of rising temperatures, and it’s what Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden says he would pursue if White won. Home in November.
The Democrats’ proposal, cited in a two-page summary as a “congressional action plan” and a “road map,” calls for interim targets to assess progress and ensure that fossil fuel pollution is decreasing, particularly in communities of color that have suffered environmental injustices.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will announce the plan, compiled by the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis chaired by Florida Congresswoman Kathy Castor, at an event in front of the United States Capitol on Tuesday by the morning.
The 538-page report will include hundreds of policy recommendations focused on 12 key pillars, according to a separate outline.
According to the report’s description, the model based on a subset of those recommendations from the energy innovation firm showed that they would reduce net US greenhouse gas emissions by 37% below 2010 levels in 2030, and 88% below 2010 levels in 2050. The remaining 12% of emissions cuts would have to come from sectors difficult to decarbonise, including heavy truck transport, industry and agriculture.
The proposal’s outline recommends a clean energy standard for zero net electricity by 2040 and new net zero buildings by 2030. It requires that only new zero emission vehicles be sold by 2035, and advocates doubling funding for public transportation.
The plan provides a “roadmap for Congress to build a thriving, clean energy economy that values workers, promotes environmental justice and is prepared to meet the challenges of the climate crisis,” according to the documents.
Leah Stokes, an assistant professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who studies climate policy, called the plan “ambitious and comprehensive.”
“It shows that the committee has been listening to stakeholders and has been closely watching the Democratic primaries. They have clearly learned from climate champions like [Washington] Governor Jay Inslee, ”she said.
“I am very pleased to see the details and the ambition that the committee has put forth: it shows that the Democratic Party is waking up to scale and the urgency of the climate crisis.”
However, the plan has no chance of passing a Republican-controlled Senate, and it would be a difficult sale even for some Democrats if his party retaken that chamber and won the White House over Donald Trump. The president has promised to exit the Paris climate agreement and has rescinded the country’s national climate efforts.
Democrats claim the plan would provide nearly $ 8 trillion in climate and health benefits in the middle of the century, but Republicans are sure to focus on the costs of the proposal, arguing that they will stifle an already struggling economy.
Investments would also be made to halt and respond to climate impacts, including water infrastructure to handle increasing floods and a next-generation 911 system to ensure wireless communication networks are reliable during disasters.
The plan would aim to reduce methane leaks from the oil and gas sector by 90% by 2030, said Stokes, who reviewed the full report.
Oil and gas companies would no longer receive “unnecessary tax breaks” and the United States would put a price on carbon to make companies pay for their pollution. Under the plan, Congress would also implement policies to ensure heavy industries reduce pollution in vulnerable communities, so that poor Americans and communities of color do not undergo the transition.
The roadmap “would put [environmental justice] at the center of federal climate and environmental policy. “
It would also establish a national climate adaptation program and protect at least 30% of all US land and ocean areas by 2030.
A national economic transition office would assist displaced workers, and veterans of the coal industry would receive medical assistance.
Finally, the proposal would invest in “climate literacy”.
“Making this plan a reality will build a safer, healthier, and fairer America, restore our global climate leadership, improve our national security, and provide a livable climate for today’s youth and future generations,” the documents say.