VIDEO: EPA & EU drive decarbonization

May 2, 2024

The Week in Sustainability – April 29–May 3, 2024

American and EU flag

As the world grapples with the urgent need for climate action, we've seen pivotal regulatory strides in both the U.S. and the E.U., underscoring a shared commitment to drive decarbonization efforts. These initiatives highlight the growing momentum behind global climate action and the vital role of regulatory frameworks in shaping environmental policy. Against mounting environmental challenges, the collective efforts of nations to address climate change are more critical than ever.

Pioneering decarbonization: Regulatory actions in the U.S.

In the United States, recent regulatory actions by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drive significant strides toward decarbonization and environmental protection. The EPA’s final rule on power plant regulations marks a pivotal moment in the nation’s commitment to cleaner energy and reduced pollution. With a focus on public health and environmental safeguards, the EPA is enforcing stricter standards for carbon emissions, updating mercury and air toxic standards (MATS), and imposing tighter limits on water pollution. These measures aim to protect communities from the harmful effects of coal ash contamination and ensure a healthier future for all.

E.U.’s path to climate neutrality: The Net Zero Industry Act

Across the Atlantic, the European Union (E.U.) is making substantial progress towards decarbonization with the approval of the Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA). This legislation represents a significant step in the E.U.’s transition to a more sustainable future by bolstering manufacturing of key decarbonization technologies. With a focus on enhancing competitiveness and supporting the journey towards climate neutrality, the NZIA targets specific technologies; streamlines permits, sets CO2 storage objectives, and promotes net-zero industrial clusters. By aiming to capture a significant share of the global market value, the E.U. is positioning itself as a leader in advancing decarbonization efforts.

Overcoming challenges, seizing opportunities: The road ahead

While the U.S. and the E.U. are committed to decarbonization, challenges like coordination among member states and financing for innovative technologies remain. However, collaboration and financial support are crucial in overcoming these hurdles and driving successful implementation. As pioneers in the global fight against climate change, the U.S. and E.U. exemplify determination, innovation, and a shared vision for a cleaner, more sustainable future. Through strategic regulatory actions and legislative initiatives, they are laying the foundation for inspiring global climate action.

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1. ESG Today, " EU Parliament Approves New Law to Boost Manufacturing of Key Decarbonization Technologies."  Accessed: April 26, 2024

2. EPA, "Biden-Harris Administration Finalizes Suite of Standards to Reduce Pollution from Fossil Fuel-Fired Power Plants." Accessed: April 25, 2024

3. NPR, "Coal and new gas power plants will have to meet climate pollution targets." Accessed: April 25, 2024

Editorial statement
At Sustain.Life, our goal is to provide the most up-to-date, objective, and research-based information to help readers make informed decisions. Written by practitioners and experts, articles are grounded in research and experience-based practices. All information has been fact-checked and reviewed by our team of sustainability professionals to ensure content is accurate and aligns with current industry standards. Articles contain trusted third-party sources that are either directly linked to the text or listed at the bottom to take readers directly to the source.
Mitch Voss
Mitch Voss isa senior director of sustainability at Sustain.Life with 10+ years of experience in the sustainability space.
Alyssa Rade
Alyssa Rade is the chief sustainability officer at Sustain.Life. She has over ten years of corporate sustainability experience and guides Sustain.Life’s platform features.
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