U.S. aims to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 under inter-agency blueprint
Author: Mischa Wanek-Libman
A blueprint developed by the U.S. Departments of Energy (DOE), Transportation (USDOT), Housing and Urban Development and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeks to secure a 100 percent clean electrical grid by 2035 and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Globally, the U.S. is a part of several commitments to lower emissions. In November 2022, the U.S. signed the Global Memorandum of Understanding on Zero-Emission Medium-and Heavy-Duty Vehicles at COP27, which is an international agreement that supports a path to 100 percent new zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sales by 2040. The domestic transportation sector accounts for one third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions, and the joint statement from the departments notes transportation costs are the second largest annual household expense, which places a disproportionate and unsustainably high financial burden of transportation on residents with low incomes. Regarding transit, the blueprint aims to see 30 percent of new vehicles sales of buses be zero-emission by 2030 and 100 percent by 2040. For rail, the blueprint will focus resources to develop a pathway toward zero-emission vehicle targets and encourage greater use of passenger rail.