U.S. Climate Alliance 2021 Annual Report | Further. Faster. Together: Alliance states and territories are delivering on their climate commitments and are on track to meet 2030 and 2050 climate goals.

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U.S. Climate Alliance Releases 2021 Annual Report, Details Pathway to Achieve 2030, 2050 Climate Goals Through Collective State-Federal Action

December 15, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Weeks after announcing the next generation of high-impact climate actions its states will pursue to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius at COP26, the U.S. Climate Alliance today released its annual report, “Further. Faster. Together.” which details how states are delivering on their climate commitments and finds that the U.S. and Alliance can achieve their 2030 and 2050 climate goals through collective state-federal action. The U.S. Climate Alliance is a bipartisan coalition of U.S. governors leading states that collectively represent 62% of U.S. GDP, 56% of the U.S. population, and 43% of U.S. emissions.


“As you will see in this report, the Alliance and our states have made significant progress over the past year and the policies and programs we have put into place continue to drive emissions reductions. But the road ahead is long, and we know we are just getting started,” said the Alliance’s co-chairs New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, and California Gov. Gavin Newsom in their Annual Report message. “Our own analysis charts one possible pathway forward, and we will continue to work together to put the next generation of climate policies in place to get it done.”


While the Alliance’s states have made progress in cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to date, more work needs to be done to avoid catastrophic climate change in the years ahead. To better understand the largest opportunities for Alliance members to work together — and with the federal government — to achieve their collective climate goals, the Alliance commissioned independent analysis of several emissions reduction scenarios.


According to this analysis, if all Alliance members put into place policies and programs to meet their individual GHG targets, they would collectively reduce their emissions by 43 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 and 84 percent by 2050, putting the Alliance’s climate goals within reach. Critically, with additional actions by the executive branch and Congress, the analysis shows that there is a pathway to reduce collective net GHG emissions to at least 50–52 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 and to achieve overall net-zero GHG emissions as soon as practicable and no later than 2050.


Specifically, this analysis shows that Alliance members, working in coordination with the federal government, can meet their collective 2030 and 2050 emissions-reduction goals through collective action to:


  • Transition to zero-carbon energy sources to generate electricity;
  • Increase the efficiency of our buildings, cars, trucks, and industries while using electricity and low-carbon fuels to power remaining demand;
  • Address high global warming potential (GWP) refrigerant leaks;
  • Reduce methane leaks from oil and natural gas systems, agriculture, and waste sources (e.g., landfills);
  • Enhance our natural and working lands (NWL) to sequester an increasing amount of GHG emissions;
  • Deploy carbon capture technology on appropriate systems and processes (e.g., cement production); and
  • Invest in research and development to identify additional measures to help fill in the remaining gap through 2050, such as expanding the role of NWL even further, accelerating the adoption of carbon-free technologies, or deploying direct air capture and other negative-emissions technologies.


The Annual Report also outlines the foundational state climate actions from the Alliance’s members in recent years, which the federal government has already built upon to move the country closer to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. This includes bold action from Alliance states to adopt clean car standards, phase-out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), establish civilian climate corps, operate green banks, set aggressive conservation goals, make significant environmental justice investments and build resilient infrastructure. The report also catalogues dozens of examples of how Alliance states are delivering on their climate commitments and moving aggressively on all fronts, across all sectors by:


  • Adopting strengthened GHG targets and advancing climate governance;
  • Ensuring a just and equitable transition;
  • Cleaning and modernizing our power grids;
  • Deploying cleaner and more efficient vehicles on our roads;
  • Transforming our buildings to be less polluting and more efficient;
  • Decarbonizing the industrial sector;
  • Deploying market-based solutions and accounting for climate change damages;
  • Addressing short-lived climate pollutants;
  • Protecting and enhancing our natural and working lands;
  • Creating more resilient communities; and
  • Financing climate solutions.


Finally, the report notes the Alliance’s next generation of innovative, high-impact, state-led actions to help ensure the country’s climate goals are durable and progress continues, regardless of who is in power in Congress or the White House.


The full Annual Report and Executive Summary can be read here.

About the Alliance

Launched on June 1, 2017 by the governors of Washington, New York, and California to help fill the void left by the previous administration’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, the Alliance has grown to include governors from across the U.S. Governors in the Alliance have pledged to collectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025, at least 50-52% below 2005 levels by 2030, and collectively achieve overall net-zero greenhouse gas emissions as soon as practicable, and no later than 2050.


Alliance states and territories are achieving lower levels of air pollution, delivering more energy savings to homes and businesses, preparing more effectively for climate impacts, generating more electricity from zero-carbon sources, and collectively employing over 40% more workers in the clean energy sector than the rest of the country. For more information on Alliance members’ bipartisan, cross-sector climate action, see our Fact Sheet.