Taking Stock 2017: Adjusting Expectations for US GHG Emissions

Kate Larsen, John Larsen, Whitney Herndon, Shashank Mohan and Trevor Houser | May 24, 2017

Since 2014, Rhodium Group has provide an independent annual assessment of US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and progress towards achieving the country’s international climate commitments.  In this, our 2017 “Taking Stock” report, we update our forecast to include policy changes under the Trump Administration, new EPA GHG inventory estimates, and energy market and technology developments over the past year. We find that under current policy, the US is still set to come within striking distance of it’s Copenhagen target of a 17% reduction below 2005 levels by 2020. But absent new policy (whether at the federal or state and local level), the US is on course for a 15-19% reduction in GHG emissions by 2025 – considerably short of its 26-28% commitment under the Paris Agreement. There is still time to correct course, whether at the subnational level over the next couple years or through new federal policy a little further down the road. But with President Trump’s election, it will certainly be a tougher lift.