June 2, 2021
Examining the Nationally Determined Contribution: Electricity Generation
The United States’ recent Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) submission to the United Nations promises to achieve greenhouse gas reductions of 50-52 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. This document approaches emissions reductions on a sector-by-sector basis and the American Action Forum will release a series of analyses following that same sector-by-sector approach. In this first analysis, focusing on the electricity generation sector, AAF’s Senior Regulatory Policy Analyst Dan Goldbeck examines one potential regulatory scheme the administration could rely on, the Clean Power Plan 2 (CPP-2), and estimates possible abatement potentials and costs.
In the likely absence of forthcoming legislation to implement the goals of the NDC, the administration is largely left with needing to modify existing regulatory schemes to achieve its ends. This analysis of CPP-2 suggests that regulations alone will not reduce emissions in this sector by sufficient levels to achieve the NDC’s goal. It also finds that such factors as insufficient practical ability, limited legal authority, rulemaking timelines, and potential litigation will further complicate achieving even the estimated reductions that CPP-2 could provide.