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Achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 will necessitate significant changes to most of America’s physical assets, from its power generation and transmission infrastructure to its buildings, vehicles, factories, forests and farms. These broad changes will need to address all four pillars of deep decarbonization – electricity decarbonization, energy efficiency and conservation, electrification of transportation and buildings, and carbon capture – supplemented by significant reductions in emissions of non-CO₂ pollutants. Such comprehensive change will necessitate the coordinated action of most of the departments of the Federal Government, from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Energy (DOE) to Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the General Services Administration (GSA), and other federal agencies, including the Departments of Transportation, Commerce, Agriculture, Interior, Education, and Justice over a 30-year period. In addition, the states, territories, and local and tribal governments will play essential roles. Launching and implementing this comprehensive, coordinated action over three decades will require the establishment of clear and enforceable goals and subgoals; reporting and accountability, including processes for feedback loops and course corrections; and an organizational structure that can manage and drive this sprawling endeavor. Moreover, the process must be protected from backsliding.


Environmental Law | Law