Capitol building
(Photo credit: David Maiolo / Wikimedia)

After President Trump announced that the U.S. will exit the Paris Climate Agreement, many U.S. states, cities, and businesses stepped up with their own commitments to cut carbon pollution.

Carla Frisch is with the Rocky Mountain Institute, a non-profit think tank. She’s part of a team that’s been crunching numbers to figure out what’s happening on the ground in the United States on climate.

“And figure out what’s the impact of those actions,” she says. “So what does it really add up to?”

The researchers estimate that in 10 years, if the states, cities, and businesses fully implement their plans, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions will be 25% less than they were in 2005.

That’s significant. But to stay in line with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, the U.S. needs to cut emissions by almost twice that.

The researchers found that making those larger cuts in carbon pollution is still feasible, but Frisch says it will require a nationwide commitment to transitioning to renewable energy and electric vehicles, among other strategies.

“We have to have federal leadership and we have to have leadership from states and cities and businesses, so this is not an either/or situation,” Frisch says. “But together we can put the U.S. on track to drastic emissions reductions.”

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.