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US to miss Paris climate pact target by a third

AFP  |  San Francisco 

The will fall short by a third on its commitment under the climate treaty to reduce emissions, according to a report released Wednesday in

A crescendo of efforts at the sub-national level by states, cities and business to shrink the country's carbon footprint will not fully compensate for Donald Trump's decision to scrap his predecessor's climate policies and promote the use of fossil fuels, it found.

"The Obama target was always going to be a stretch," Paul Bodnar, of the Rocky Mountain Institute, told journalists.

"This work shows definitively that states, cities and businesses have the power to bring the nation to the brink of that ambitious target through their own authorities." Financed by former Michael Bloomberg, the "Fulfilling America's Pledge" report kicks off the three-day Global Climate Action Summit, a gathering of several thousand governors, mayors, business leaders and climate activists from around the world.

"Current federal and real economy commitments, combined with market forces, will drive US emissions to 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 -- roughly two-thirds of the way to the original US target," the report found.

Under the 196-nation Agreement, the made a voluntary pledge to cut carbon pollution 26-28 per cent by 2025.

The 2015 treaty marked the first time that all countries -- including emerging giants such as and -- laid out specific targets for greening their economies.

The new projections are conservative in so far as they assume no help from the federal over the next six years.

But even without a Democrat in the in 2020, up to 90 percent of US targets could still be met if non-state actors double down on climate action, they found.

On Monday, outgoing signed legislation committing the state to purging greenhouse gases from its by 2045, replaced by generated mostly by solar and wind power.

"We all have the opportunity and the obligation to do our part to combat climate change," he told AFP after signing the bill into

The fifth largest economy in the world, has also adopted targets that would see its emissions fall at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

Trump -- who vowed to pull out of the Agreement months after gaining office -- wants to relax pollution rules for coal-fired power plants and roll back car-mileage standards, the twin pillars of Barack Obama's Clean Plan.

He has also challenged the Golden State's right to set it's own vehicle fuel standards.

The transport sector is the single largest source of man-made greenhouse gases in the

US mayors, governors and business leaders -- under the banner "We Are Still In" -- have pushed back by adopting more ambitious targets at the local level.

Taken together, these jurisdictions represent about half of the US economy, the equivalent of the third-largest country in the world, according to the report.

"Businesses, states and local governments have stepped in to fill the leadership gap," said Lou Leonard, senior vice for climate change and energy,

"But even more is needed to fill the remaining emissions gap and reduce risks from droughts, wildfires and superstorms bearing down on American communities."

As if to illustrate the point, a monster hurricane exhibiting unusual patterns consistent with the influence of global warming is barrelling toward the US eastern seaboard, and projected to make landfall Thursday or Friday in the

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, September 12 2018. 13:05 IST