Paris Climate Goals Attainable Without U.S. Government Involvement

Even as President Trump was withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate deal, environmentalists — and former President Barack Obama — said it didn’t matter, and the U.S. was locked into a low-emissions future anyway.

With the dust of the decision settling, analysts have taken a closer look and say it’s still possible, though difficult, for the U.S. to meet the goal of the Paris deal even without being a signatory.

Federal data show the U.S. is already well over one-third of its way toward meeting that pledge, with net emissions in 2015 down more than 11 percent compared with 2005. Even without a comprehensive federal strategy to reduce emissions, other factors could continue the downward trend.

State and local governments are undertaking voluntary pollution-reduction measures to make up for the federal pullback. In some cases, they have specifically adopted policies designed to meet the Paris targets. Leading companies also have redoubled their efforts on energy efficiency and are taking other steps to cut pollution.

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