An analysis of pledges made by many of the largest U.S. electric utilities to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions suggests that pledged reductions could reduce power sector emissions by a third as compared to 2018 levels.
An analysis of pledges made by many of the largest U.S. electric utilities to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions suggests that pledged reductions could reduce power sector emissions by a third as compared to 2018 levels. The study also found that about one-seventh of the cuts utilities have promised are reductions they would have to make anyway due to existing state requirements.
“In the absence of comprehensive federal requirements, a lot of large utilities have made voluntary pledges to reduce GHG emissions,” says Christopher Galik, corresponding author of the work and an associate professor of public administration at North Carolina State University. “The challenge that we address in this work is to do a comprehensive accounting of what these utility pledges – assuming they are met – might collectively achieve in terms of new, net aggregate GHG emission reductions.
“One reason that this is so challenging is that the pledges are all framed and tracked differently, so it’s like comparing apples to oranges,” Galik says. “What’s more, it wasn’t previously clear how much these pledges go beyond requirements that call for renewable energy production or emission reductions at the state level.”
To address these issues, the researchers examined 36 major electric utility pledges stretching across dozens of subsidiaries and operating territories in 43 states.
Read more at North Carolina State University
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