On this 52nd Earth Day, the US reveals it’s lagging behind on essential local weather pledges 

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On this 52nd Earth Day, meteorologists are reminded of how far the United States has fallen short of its commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, raising serious concerns about the country’s ability to combat climate change.

image credits: etenergyworld

Extreme weather events continue to wreak havoc across the United States, owing to rising global temperatures, and have acted as a stark reminder of the need for immediate climate action. At the same time, Russia’s conflict with Ukraine serves as a reminder of the world’s strong reliance on fossil resources, as evidenced by rising gasoline prices at the pump.

Nonetheless, experts believe there is still time to take corrective action. Corrective policymaking, tapping into innovative technologies, and even ordinary people adopting tiny but important lifestyle changes can help the United States meet its emissions target.

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However, immediate changes are required, as forecasters from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimate that over 60% of the continental United States is experiencing mild to severe drought conditions.

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Local weather experts, such as Greg Keoleian, director of the Center for Sustainable Programs at the University of Michigan, say the goal is ambitious and that the United States may not be able to achieve it realistically.

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“We need to align technology, policy, the market, and habits to accelerate decarbonization and meet IPCC targets, and right now, we’re not completely linked,” Keoleian said.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a United Nations body that serves as the international authority on climate change.

Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Invoice, according to Keoleian, is a major step in the right direction since it focuses on the transportation sector, which is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 27 percent of the nation’s total emissions.

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The legislation allocates $7.5 billion to the construction of a statewide network of electric vehicle (EV) chargers in order to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles, reduce tailpipe emissions, and improve air quality.

More than $6.5 billion has also been set aside to transition the nation’s electrical system to clean energy, including energy infrastructure upgrades that might result in the construction of hundreds of miles of new transmission lines.

It is critical that the United States fulfils its climate pledge, as scientists at the University of Melbourne in Australia discovered that if all 192 nations that have signed the Paris Agreement honour their pledges, “the world will simply stay away from 2 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century.”

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Although it may not appear to be much, Gershuny stressed the importance of even reducing a tenth of a degree in terms of local weather change. It might make all the difference for vulnerable areas, as the United States has seen firsthand after severe hurricanes and wildfires forced hundreds of people to evacuate their homes and successfully become climate refugees.

Staying positive is an important part of combating climate change, as Gershuny pointed out that the world might not be prepared for “good shocks,” such as technologies being adopted faster or cheaper than expected.

“I’ve all the time been an optimist about this and yr after yr we’re proved proper that we’ve got the options, we simply should get the braveness to launch them,” mentioned Gershuny. 

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