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The US government has recently announced the launch of a new plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants and promote cap-and-trade, that will represent the most ambitious and challenging action to fight climate change in American history.

The new strategy will be a concrete instrument to reduce carbon pollution by as much as 25% from about 1,600 power plants in operation, the government says.

Data show that power plants are the major source of carbon pollution causing 40% of the country's emissions.

The new plan drafted by the Environmental Protection Agency has been welcomed as a turning point to significantly curb the carbon dioxide emissions responsible for climate change.

According to the US President Barack Obama, the new program will drive the country to concretely reach its climate commitments, in line with the international environmental goals. In relation to this, the new plan stresses the US aim to be at the forefront in the global framework to stop pollution, addressing the criticism expressed by some groups about the possible negative cost of cutting carbon.

Moreover, the plan will represent a step forward overcoming the historical US denial about the impact of climate change mostly due to the strong opposition of Republicans and some Democrats in Congress and to an industry-funded misinformation campaign. In this way, this strategy could entail important emission reductions guiding the country near the 17% Obama proposed at the Copenhagen climate summit.

The objective to reduce pollution would be achieved closing the oldest and most polluting coal plants. As the EPA administrator has outlined, the plan will allow states leeway in the concrete measures to reach the reduction targets, such as the installation of carbon-sucking retrofits, the development of wind and solar energy and the improvement of the electrical grid.

As the government has highlighted, this program will represent the first concrete climate action plan to strongly cut pollution by building a clean energy economy and driving in this way the energy system to be less carbon intensive.

As climate change represents one of the main threat for human health, the new regulations, the core pillar of Obama's climate plan, would cut down on soot and smog as well as carbon dioxide emissions, with significant benefits for thousands of Americans.


The gLAWcal Team

Monday, 2 June 2014

(Source: The Guardian)