The U.S. could approach deep decarbonization by 2050, research shows

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The United States is only going to have deep reductions in green gases with the policy tools currently available despite the best policy approach to decarbonization. That’s the message of a new study published in Energy policy by an interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Texas at Austin who examined the political potential of deep decarbonization in the United States. The results show that policies and innovations are needed to reduce global warming gases from areas such as heavy industry.

The researchers, using the TIMES energy system model, analyzed mid -century green gas emissions against three aspects of political potential – including Democrat in the Press and the House of Representatives Democratically. In what researchers call the low -income vote, Republicans control the Senate. By analogy, Democrats control the Senate with a solid filibuster. And by high comparison, Democrats control the Senate and the filibuster is over.

The company found that while in the best of scenarios, the U.S. alone is meeting an 80% decarbonization goal by 2050. If Republicans control the Senate, the set of policies could achieve the goal. policy to allow global warming emissions to fall by only a quarter by 2050. In a situation where Democrats control the Senate with a solid filibuster, emissions are reduced by about a third given in political policies. If Democrats control the Senate and eliminate filibuster, the policies currently in place could allow global warming emissions to be reduced by about 45%.

“This interdisciplinary project brings the right policy truth to the modeling of the energy system and reminds us to implement deep decarbonization that requires more new policies,” said Benjamin Leibowicz, a assistant professor at the Cockrell School of Engineering and a research director. “While the electric industry is rapidly declining, new technologies and policies need to address global warming gas sources such as heavy vehicles, airplanes, the use of natural gas in buildings, and so on. with professionalism. “

The researchers also found patterns where the policy compared to broader climate policies, the lower the cost. Prices are lower under the higher political model because technology-neutral policies, such as full carbon pricing through taxation or cap-and-trade, allow businesses. and families to reduce emissions in the best possible ways. Despite having a high hand in economic terms, however, the price of carbon does not have widespread political support.

Most of the decarbonization in the samples comes from the introduction of new materials into the electrical field, preferably wind and sunlight. There are some signs of bipartisan support in the housing sector, most notably in relation to building energy standards, funding for the Weatherization Assistance Program, and tax cuts for solar systems. Electrification in the automotive sector is one of the key drivers of emissions reduction. While it is more difficult to take to decarbonize emissions from heavy vehicles, encouraging rapid conversion to electric vehicles will have a significant impact on wide -ranging traffic goals.

In each of the three models, different policies were identified and then compared for their impact on gas emissions.

Low resilience suggests a Republican -dominated Senate where policies that enjoy bipartisan support can pass such as tax evasion, research and development funding, conditions for procurement and as well as federal regulations, as well as industry -sponsored initiatives such as carbon capture, use and storage. The central bank, which is supposed to be a Democrat -run Senate that maintains the filibuster, including additional regulations such as district carbon taxes, is seen as a market until drawing Republican support. The High Alignment portfolio takes the Democratic power of the Senate without filibuster and has orders and positions such as clean electricity.

Clean taxes are better than prices

More information:
Qianru Zhu et al, Enhancing the real policy on the features of the energy system: Possible decarbonization pathways in policy for the United States, Energy policy (2021). DOI: 10.1016 / j.enpol.2021.112754

Presented by the University of Texas at Austin

Directions: America could approach deep decarbonization by 2050, research (2022, March 31) found on March 31, 2022 from

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