Last week, NRG Energy announced plans to reduce CO2 emissions 50% by 2030 and 90% by 2050. And this reduction is not from a 1990 or 2005 baseline; it is from 2014 emissions. NRG’s statement indicated that it had already reduced emissions by 40% since 2005. By my math, that means that the 2030 and 2050 reductions would be 70% and 94%, respectively, below 2005 emissions.
If NRG can do it, why not others? And if others do it, we will certainly be on a path to mitigating the worst impacts of climate change, according to John Sterman of MIT’s Sloan School, as quoted in the Times story on the NRG announcement.
I still don’t know quite how we get from here to there. While voluntary commitments are nice, we’re going to need a cap-and-trade program or carbon tax at some point. Nonetheless, taking the long view, I see momentum building in the right direction.
Call me a cockeyed optimist.