Ahead of Paris summit, recent report says US doing very little to combat climate change

New Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a public interest research and advocacy organisation, has released an extensive study of the US Climate Action Plan, claiming that much of the policies and plans put in place by the US to fight climate change are not making any difference.

Bringing Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) (country's plan for cutting greenhouse gas emissions) to question, CSE's report, titled Capitan America: US climate goals –A reckoning, said that the US was doing nothing to curb climate change, and any fall in the emissions in the past few years has been a reflection in the slowdown of the US economy itself.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“Our analysis shows that the key economic sectors of the US economy – energy, transport, industry etc – are operating and would continue to operate till 2030 in a business-as-usual way, even as the rest of the world gears up to fight climate change,” said CSE director general Sunita Narain while releasing the report.

That report claims that the casual approach of the US to tackle climate change shifts the burden to countries like India, which are heavily dependent on non-renewable resources and industry for its economic survival.

Chandra Bhushan, CSE’s deputy director general said that the US has not put in place policies to shift its economy towards low carbon. "The result is the US will produce and consume 20 percent more fossil fuels in 2030 than what it does today... The Clean Power Plan (CPP), the most ambitious climate action of President Barack Obama to reduce emissions from the power sector, is even less ambitious than business-as-usual," he added.

The report comes days before the Paris climate summit in November, and a month before December's United Nations climate meeting. Experts are already expressing concern over the collective commitment of the countries involved in the summit.

"The science of cooperation predicts that if all you are doing is naming individual contributions — offers that aren't coupled to each other — then you'll end up with a relatively poor outcome," said David MacKay, former chief scientific advisor to Britain's Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in an interview with the BBC.

The upcoming Paris negotiations, he warned, were heading in the same direction as the Kyoto agreement.

Read the 'Capitan America: US climate goals – A reckoning' here.

Updated Date: Oct 12, 2015 14:43 PM

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