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Traffic on a street in Hunan Province, China

Traffic in Changsha, Hunan Province, China / Jakob Montrasio / CC BY 2.0

What Can the United States Learn From China’s Robust EV Development?

Although China’s conventional auto industry has never matched that of nations like Germany, Japan or the United States, the nation has managed to outpace rivals in the production and adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). Last year, the majority of all the world’s electric cars were sold in China. China’s electric vehicle purchases exceeded U.S. sales by 2015 and in 2018, over 1.1 million electric cars were sold in the country.
Greta Thunberg at New York City climate strike

Climate activist Greta Thunberg at New York City's Climate Strike in September 2019. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez.)

Part V: Building the Low-Carbon Future

These policies, taken together and adopted at national scale, would allow the United States to do its part in limiting global warming to 1.5°C. Can it be done? The final installment of “Look to the States” concludes with an outlook and some tools — drawing once more from state-level successes — for putting a decarbonization plan into practice.
BMW i3 charging

A BMW i3 charging / Karlis Dambrans / CC BY 2.0

Part IV: Zero-Carbon Transit

To support decarbonization efforts, we will have to overhaul our transportation system. Over the course of the past century, we used fossil fuels to revolutionize the way we move from place to place — creating unprecedented mobility, but substantially contributing to climate change. About 30% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation. But we can look to key states for a glimpse of what climate leadership on transit looks like.
Block Island Wind Farm

Block Island Wind Farm / Chris Bentley / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Part II: Setting Climate Targets and Creating Tools to Achieve Them

For years, red and blue states across the country have been building the policy architecture for ambitious national climate action. Part II of "Searching for a New Deal on Climate" explores how the federal government can follow the states’ lead on setting economy-wide greenhouse gas targets, establishing renewable energy requirements for electric utility portfolios, and building out new renewable energy generation.
Brayton Point

Demolition of Brayton Point, the last coal-fired power plant in Massachusetts, in April 2019. The location will serve as a site for future offshore wind development. (Dave Souza/The Herald News of Fall River via AP)

Part I: Searching for a New Deal on Climate? Look to the States

Is there a version of decarbonization somewhere out there that is aggressive enough to meet the bar set by the scientists, yet pragmatic enough to work politically and as a matter of law and policy? Yes, there is. We should look no further than the blue and red states that are currently leading on climate to see the strategies in action that would achieve the swift and far-reaching emissions reductions we require.
Global Thermostat's Menlo Park, CA Plant

Global Thermostat co-founder Graciela Chichilnisky at the company's demo plant in Menlo Park, California / Photo courtesy of Global Thermostat

ExxonMobil and Global Thermostat Look to Scale Carbon Capture

This summer, ExxonMobil announced it would be working with carbon removal company Global Thermostat to help scale up their technology, with an eye towards large industrial applications. The announcement is the latest indicator that fossil fuel companies are looking ahead towards a world that’s far less friendly towards their products and the emissions they produce.
Perspectives from State Experts
Janine Benner

Oregon Takes a Strong Stand for Clean Energy

There is a strong groundswell of support for solar power and energy efficiency in Oregon. This has boosted the state’s programs and amplified their accomplishments, according to Janine Benner, director of Oregon Department of Energy. In this interview, she said Oregon is using these technologies to offset the environmental impact of its growing IT industry.
Kelly Bragg

West Virginia's Community Solar Ideas Take Root

Solar power is starting to take root in West Virginia at a community level, said Kelly Bragg, energy development specialist with the West Virginia Office of Energy. In this interview, she also said energy efficiency remains a low priority due to the affordable cost of electricity.
Ken Hughes

How Can New Mexico Transform Its Energy Mix?

New Mexico needs to modernize its rates, regulations and incentives so it can make substantial progress in improving its solar-energy and energy efficiency markets, said Ken Hughes, clean energy specialist at the State of New Mexico’s Energy Conservation and Management Division. In this interview, he provided examples of success stories on the ground.