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Consensus Study Report


Addressing climate change is essential and possible, and it offers a host of benefits - from better public health to new economic opportunities. The United States has a historic opportunity to lead the way in decarbonization by transforming its current energy system to one with net-zero emissions of carbon dioxide. Recent legislation has set the nation on the path to reach its goal of net zero by 2050 in order to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. However, even if implemented as designed, current policy will get the United States only part of the way to its net-zero goal.

Accelerating Decarbonization in the United States provides a comprehensive set of actionable recommendations to help policymakers achieve a just and equitable energy transition over the next decade and beyond, including policy, technology, and societal dimensions. This report addresses federal and subnational policy needs to overcome implementation barriers and gaps with a focus on energy justice, workforce development, public health, and public engagement. The report also presents a suite of recommendations for the electricity, transportation, built environment, industrial, fossil fuels, land use, and finance sectors.

Suggested Citation

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2024. Accelerating Decarbonization in the United States: Technology, Policy, and Societal Dimensions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

822 pages |  7 x 10 |  Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-309-68284-8
Chapters skim
Front Matter i-xvi
Executive Summary 1-4
Summary 5-38
1 Introduction 39-86
2 Energy Justice and Equity 87-144
3 Public Health Co-Benefits and Impacts of Decarbonization 145-193
4 Workforce Needs, Opportunities, and Support 194-243
5 Public Engagement to Build a Strong Social Contract for Deep Decarbonization 244-306
6 The Essential Role of Clean Electricity 307-349
7 The Built Environment 350-416
8 Land Use 417-464
9 Transport 465-524
10 Industrial Decarbonization 525-589
11 Aligning the Financial Sector and Capital Markets with the Energy Transition 590-620
12 The Future of Fossil Fuels 621-678
13 Enhancing and Realizing the Climate Ambitions and Capacities of Subnational Actors: State and Local Government Perspectives 679-722
Appendixes 723-724
Appendix A: Committee Member Biographical Information 725-736
Appendix B: Disclosure of Unavoidable Conflicts of Interest 737-739
Appendix C: First Report Policy Recommendations 740-755
Appendix D: Public Meetings 756-757
Appendix E: Decarbonization Technologies and Related Equity and Justice Concerns 758-764
Appendix F: Equity and Justice Scorecard: Inflation Reduction Act Provisions 765-773
Appendix G: Disadvantaged Community as Defined by Implementers of Justice40 Covered Programs 774-778
Appendix H: Public Health Provisions in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act 779-788
Appendix I: Public Engagement Scorecard: Current Federal Policy Portfolio 789-792
Appendix J: Select Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and Inflation Reduction Act Provisions Implicating Subnational Entities 793-802
Appendix K: Acronyms and Abbreviations 803-806

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