If we do not act now, the expense will be manifolds for our future generation. The effects are nowadays clearly noticeable – weather condition is shifting faster than any time in the human history. To administer the current scenario, having extensive evidence in hand, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considering regulate GHG (CO2) emission from the energy sector. In line with international communities, e.g. IPCC and EU, to meet the standard of air quality EPA has been developing the Clean Power Plan (CPP) aimed on 30% CO2 reduction by 2030. And, more than three and a half million Americans sent comments in support of the Clean Power Plan to the EPA.
“Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems. Limiting climate change would require substantial and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions which, together with adaptation, can limit climate change risks.” – IPCC on November 2, 2014.
“While this progress is encouraging, climate change is no longer a distant threat – we are already feeling its impacts across the country and the world. Last year was the warmest year ever in the contiguous United States and about one-third of all Americans experienced 10 days or more of 100-degree heat.” – The Presidents Climate Action Plan (2013)
“We see the Clean Power Plan as dramatic overstepping of EPA’s legal authority under the Clean Air Act,” John Pippy, CEO of the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance.
There are apparent disagreements from state and energy industries. And, there are supporters too. “CPP will lead to climate and health benefits worth an estimated $55 billion to $93 billion in 2030, including avoiding 2700 to 6600 premature deaths and 140,000 to 150,000 asthma attacks in Children” – American Lung Association.
Periodical assessment and progress monitoring of the state implementation plan (SIP), in line with the CPP and Clean Air Act (CWA), will further broaden the scopes for energy sector across the country. In the process of CPP finalization, implementation and follow-up, local stakeholders need to be engaged through Public Hearing, Group Discussion and survey. Continuous monitoring-evaluation-modification of CPP and SIP will reduce uncertainty regarding electricity pricing, heat rate improvement, reliability and other relevant concerns. There are obvious challenges to achieve some of the targets e.g. heat rate improvement. With reasonable flexibility for the industry, CPP will create opportunity to shift to more efficient and cleaner technology using as much as renewable energy sources as possible. Simultaneously, there would be greater opportunities for scientist and/or experts to innovate technologies which may improve the heat rate and diminish dependency on fossil fuel-run industries.
There certainly would be difficulties to achieve articulated targets, nonetheless, the initiative has to be taken. Our actions taking place here within the US territory not only adversely impacting on Population within US territory but also doing the same for rest of the world. An accountable and successful implementation of CPP can be exemplary for international communities and useful to reduce climate related vulnerabilities.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report. November 1, 2014. Accessed at http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/SYR_AR5_SPM.pdf.
Melillo JM, Richmond TC, and Yohe GW, Eds. 2014. Climate Change Impacts in the United States. The Third National Climate Assessment. U.S. Global Change Research Program. Available at http://www.nca2014.globalchange.gov
Executive Office of the President The president’s climate action plan June 2013. Washington DC, USA: The White House. Accessed at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/image/president27sclimateactionplan.pdf