2021 journal article

Major US electric utility climate pledges have the potential to collectively reduce power sector emissions by one-third

ONE EARTH, 4(12), 1741–1751.

By: D. Godlevskaya n, C. Galik n & N. Kaufman*

UN Sustainable Development Goal Categories
13. Climate Action (OpenAlex)
Source: Web Of Science
Added: January 10, 2022

The power sector represents 25% of US total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In the absence of comprehensive federal climate policies, numerous US electric utilities have announced GHG reduction pledges. The extent to which they can mitigate emissions beyond existing state and regional policies remains unclear, however. Here we compile 36 major utility pledges in place as of December 2020 across more than 80 utility subsidiaries and operating territories and compare pledged reductions with those achievable under existing state and regional renewable energy production or emission reduction requirements. We show that one-seventh of utility pledged reductions may already occur under existing state and regional policies but nonetheless have the potential for substantial net emissions reductions, an amount equivalent to one-third of 2018 US power sector emissions. Although challenges remain to tracking achievement of pledged reductions, voluntary reduction efforts could play a vital role in climate change mitigation.