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New report says greater regulation will be necessary to meet US climate targets

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A new report claims that further stringent regulation will be necessary in the US manufacturing sector if the country is to meet its emissions reduction targets. The report from the American Council for Capital Formation, called ‘Success of US Climate Pledge Depends on Future GHG Regulation of US Industry, Other Sectors’ states that the US will have to ‘saddle US manufacturing with stringent GHG reduction targets that will likely harm jobs and economic growth’ if it is to meet pledged international targets.

The US has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26% against 2005 levels, but the ACCF report claims that the policies identified in the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (US INDC) add up to emissions reductions of a maximum of 17%. The report speculates that industry regulation alone could not plug the gap, meaning regulation would also be required in other sectors, such as agriculture.

"Environmental groups and industrial interest agree that this gap will need to be filled in order to meet the President's target," said ACCF Executive Vice President George David Banks.  "Adding these new requirements to an already increasing list of regulations would slow the growth of industry and decrease the sector's global competitiveness, which would result in slower GDP and job growth.  Because this pledge will be inherited in the next administration and beyond, it should be a centrepiece economic policy discussion in the 2016 election."

Banks surmises that the Obama administration is likely to spend its remaining time after the Paris international climate meetings working toward a global approach for each major industrial sector to help mitigate political criticism and the foreseeable negative impact on US industry.

"Creating a global approach that covers a critical mass of emissions in each industrial sector with comparable monitoring, verification, and enforcement across major economies will be incredibly difficult – if not politically impossible," Banks said. "In particular, environmental governance in developing countries is simply not at a level at this time that would give US industry and labour unions any real confidence." 

Adapted from press release by

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