- U.S. is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), making its involvement in the fight against climate change a matter of critical importance.
- Efforts outside the federal government could enable the U.S. to fulfill two-thirds of its commitment to reduce GHG emissions.
According to the publication released this week from BBVA Research, United States: Policy & Climate Change, the lack of a federal strategy to address climate change has not hindered the U.S. in achieving its commitment to reduce GHG emissions by 26% compared to levels in 2005. The paper further notes that relying on individual efforts by subnational players and the private sector is unlikely to produce the most efficient outcome.
Few topics have been more contentious in U.S. politics than climate change, with the two main national political parties embracing different views on the subject. As noted in the report, recent surveys suggest that public opinion on the topic of climate change may have reached a tipping point. For the first time since 2001, more Americans over age 18 are very concerned about global warming and believe that it will have severe repercussions during their lifetime, according to a recent Gallup poll.
BBVA Research Principal Economist Marcial Nava notes that, as extreme weather events continue to impact an increasing number of people, both parties are expected to add climate change to their political agendas in the coming years. His report indicates that both parties’ proposals include risks as well as opportunities, including job creation.
United States: Policy and Climate Change, authored by Nava, also highlights the impact of shifting demographics and popular opinion in framing the issue in the U.S. For more details, read the full report here.