World leaders made a bold commitment at the 2015 Paris climate talks to limit global warming to 2° Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with an aspiration to limit temperature rise to 1.5° Celsius. Fulfilling that promise will require the United States to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases starting now, with reductions exceeding 80 percent by mid-century. America’s transportation system produces more greenhouse gas pollution than any entire nation in the world other than China, India and Russia. Reducing pollution from transportation in the U.S. is essential to prevent the worst impacts of global warming.
America has made progress in cutting pollution from cars and trucks over the last decade as a result of improved vehicle fuel economy and slower growth in driving. But eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from our urban transportation systems is going to require more than incremental change – it will require transformation.
The combination of two technologies— hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drill- ing—has enabled the oil and gas industry to engage in an e ort to unlock oil and gas in under- ground rock forma ons across the United States. “Fracking,” however, has also led to tremendous environmental harm and put the health and safety of communities across the country at risk.
America can address our largest environmental challenges by shifting to 100 percent renewable energy. Renewable energy makes us safer and healthier, protecting our communities from global warming and from hazardous air pollution. Renewable energy reduces the need for dangerous and destructive practices like shipping explosive fuels through our cities, fracking for gas near our water supplies, or razing our mountains to dig up dirty coal.
Solar energy is expanding rapidly across the United States – increasing more than 100-fold over the past decade. But, there are still many untapped opportunities to harness the nation’s nearly limitless solar potential. The United States has the technical potential to produce more than 100 times as much electricity from solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP) installations as the nation consumes each year. Given our abundant solar resources, America must take advantage of untapped opportunities to install solar technologies – like using rooftops of large superstores and “big box” retail stores as hosts for clean electricity generation.