This week democratic congresswomen Jan Schakowsky and Nanette Diaz Barragan reintroduced a bill which ban greenhouse gas emissions from all new power plants, stop hydraulic fracking and ban crude oil and natural gas exports. The bill would also ban new liquefied natural gas terminals unless these reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“The science is clear: we are rapidly running out of time to prevent the worst effects of climate change. Just this year in the United States, we have witnessed a record number of climate and weather disasters due to climate change,” said Congresswoman Schakowsky. “As the second highest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, it is crucial that the United States lead by example. The Future Generations Protection Act is a critical step in our transition to clean energy and reaching the United States target to reduce emissions by 50 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.”
The bill is being reintroduced at a moment when the US is seen as lagging in its commitments to combatting climate change. A recent UN report noted that the United States was not on track to meet its prior emissions targets.
“It is worth noting that Canada and the United States of America have submitted strengthened NDC targets, while independent studies suggest that they are not on track to meet their previous nationally determined contributions (NDC) targets with currently implemented policies,” note the authors of the UN report. “These two countries therefore need to make significant additional efforts to meet their new NDC targets.”
The United States modified its original NDC target from reducing emission of greenhouse gases by between 26% and 28% of 2005 levels by 2025 to reducing greenhouse gas emission by between 50% and 52% from 2005 levels by 2030, during the COP 26 in October.
In 2019 Americans emitted the equivalent of 75 tons of CO2 per person (75 tCO2e/cap) versus the global average of 28 tons of CO2 equivalent per person, according to the latest report by economist Thomas Piketty’s World Inequality Data Base.