Energy & Environment

House Dems to offer up road map to solve the climate crisis

Greg Nash

House Democrats are preparing to unveil a plan Tuesday for the U.S. to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, the party’s “roadmap for solving the climate crisis,” according to a summary obtained Monday evening by The Hill.

The plan is the first major piece of legislation from the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, established last year as the Green New Deal was rising to prominence, and would put the U.S. on a path to meeting the goals of the Paris climate accord.

The plan lays out a number of timelines for cleaning nearly every sector of the U.S. economy — something lawmakers argue will aid in rebuilding after the economic fallout stemming from the coronavirus.

“While the harmful human and economic costs of inaction continue to compound, the solutions to climate change — including building and rebuilding America’s energy, transportation, and manufacturing infrastructure to be cleaner and more resilient to climate impacts — offer an opportunity to propel the economy forward,” lawmakers wrote in their 547-page plan, which would put the U.S. on the hook to reduce emissions by at least 37 percent below 2010 levels in 2030 and 88 percent below 2010 levels in 2050.

“The remaining 12% of emissions comes from the hardest to decarbonize sectors, such as heavy-duty and off-road transportation, industry, and agriculture,” the plan states.

Reaching those goals would require net-zero new buildings by 2030, zero-emission vehicles by 2035 and net-zero electricity by 2040. 

The plan calls for rapid deployment of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar while incentivizing domestic production of other-zero emission technologies for homes and vehicles.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) plans to lay out the plan at a rollout on the Capitol steps alongside Climate Crisis Committee Chairwoman Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) and other lawmakers. 

The ambitious 12-point plan could face a challenging path in the House and very stiff resistance in the Senate. 

But it’s overarching goal of reducing emissions by 2050 is in line with what has been called for by former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. 

The plan also has many elements borrowed from Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who was dubbed the “climate candidate” before dropping his own Democratic bid for president. Former campaign staffers have since banded together to push many of those same climate proposals to lawmakers.  

The plan from the committee is the third major climate effort offered by House Democrats this year.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is working on a plan that would reach carbon net-zero emissions by 2050.

A $1.5 trillion green infrastructure plan House Democrats unveiled last week incorporates climate change mandates throughout the legislation and would also require states to set greenhouse gas reduction goals in order to receive funding.

Tags Carbon neutrality Climate change climate crisis Jay Inslee Joe Biden Kathy Castor Nancy Pelosi
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