UA contributes to US Sustainable Development Solutions Network Zero Carbon Action Plan
America’s Zero-Carbon Action Plan was developed by the Zero Carbon Consortium made up of nearly 100 experts from dozens of universities, research centers, and other organizations across the country.
Date of Press Release: December 10, 2020
As a founding member of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN-USA), University of Alaska, represented by UAS Dean of Arts & Sciences and VPRSP, Thomas Thornton, was a contributor to the America’s Zero-Carbon Action Plan (ZCAP). Released on 23 October (and coinciding with an Evening at Egan presentation on Juneau’s transition to a sustainable city by board members of the non-profit organization Renewable Juneau), the plan provides a blueprint and policy recommendations to decarbonizing the US energy supply by 2050. As a major energy producing state and an innovator in micro-grids and renewable energy, Alaska is a key actor in this lower carbon transition. The report cites the work of UA's Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) and a number of citizen-led organizations, such as the Renewable Energy Alaska Project (REAP) and Renewable Juneau, which are facilitating a just transition to sustainability through increased access to renewable energy.
ZCAP builds on a foundation of analytic rigor with both an in-depth energy and infrastructure transition model and an economic impact model that projects the job implications of the transition. The Plan aligns the required energy technology transformation with economic levers, and provides a cadre of policy recommendations to get America to net zero emissions by 2050. The Plan will be delivered to both the Congress and the Executive Branch in November – providing an action agenda as America moves from politics to policy post-election.
The Plan demonstrates how a carbon-neutral future can be:
- Achieved from both a technical and cost standpoint;
- Structured to deliver net job creation;
- Built on existing technologies to decarbonize the power, buildings, industrial, transport, and materials sectors with additional federal RDD&D support to reach commercial scale; and
- Advanced more quickly through appropriate land use planning and adoption of circular economy concepts.
ZCAP was developed by the Zero Carbon Consortium made up of nearly 100 experts from dozens of universities, research centers, and other organizations across the country. With a structure based on 11 working groups, the Consortium developed a policy framework linked to a comprehensive, sector-specific, data-grounded strategy to achieve zero-carbon emissions in the United States by 2050 in line with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recommendations, the Paris Agreement, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Plan outlines a transition pathway for the U.S. energy system to a decarbonized future centered on four core elements: technological change, federalism, foreign policy, and industrial policy.
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University of Alaska Southeast