How the U.S. Made Progress on Climate Change Without Ever Passing a Bill

Robinson Meyer voor The Atlantic:

That 2009 climate bill, the one that President Barack Obama couldn’t pass? It required the U.S. to cut greenhouse-gas emissions 17 percent by 2020 as compared with their all-time high. Yet last year, our emissions were down 21 percent. The same bill said that the U.S. had to generate 20 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2020. Last year, we met that target. We will surpass it in 2021.

De klimaatdoelstellingen? Een samenwerking tussen alle actoren in de wereld. Trump probeerde het actief tegen te werken en nog haalde de wereld doelstellingen die acht jaar daarvoor als te ambitieus werden gezien. Hoe komt dat? De auteur heeft deze theorie:

by feedback loop; it proceeds by a self-accelerating process that I have called “the green vortex.” The green vortex describes how policy, technology, business, and politics can all work together, lowering the cost of zero-carbon energy, building pro-climate coalitions, and speeding up humanity’s ability to decarbonize. It has also already gotten results. The green vortex is what drove down the cost of wind and solar, what overturned Exxon’s board, and what the Biden administration is banking on in its infrastructure plan.

De uitdaging is ook helder op het eind:

In the next decade, we’ll find out if that feedback loop can work the same for decarbonization more broadly—and whether American policy makers can learn not just to live in the green vortex, but to manipulate it.

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