Climate Action Plans
Climate action plans generally include greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets and detailed actions to meet those goals. The plans may also include additional components such as resilience strategies, clean energy targets, and economic and social goals.
One of the most famous climate action plans is the 2015 Paris Accord
, a landmark international agreement to combat the climate crisis that was adopted by nearly every nation. The agreement aims to substantially reduce worldwide GHG emissions in an effort to limit the global temperature increase
in this century to 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, while pursuing ways to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees. The agreement includes commitments from all major emitting countries
to cut their climate pollution and to strengthen those commitments over time. The United States, the second largest emitter, rejoined the agreement on January 20, 2021, as one of the first acts of President Joe Biden; the previous president had withdrawn the U.S. from the Accord in 2017.
The United States itself has a climate action plan, recently introduced by the Biden administration
. The plan’s directive is to achieve a 100 percent clean energy economy and reach net-zero emissions by 2050. (Net-zero emissions is a synonym for carbon neutrality. It refers to achieving an overall balance between the amount of greenhouse gases taken out of the atmosphere and amount that are released into the atmosphere.) The plan also protects low-income communities and communities of color from industrial polluters and takes into account the future of the nation’s oil and gas workers and their communities. With this plan in action, the nation could become a world leader in climate protection and adaptation.