United States

Making progress despite policy gridlock

The United States has created a “messy but useful” combination of incentives, regulation, persuasion, and innovation at the federal and state level, which has contributed to a recent decline in emissions. Sustaining and escalating this emissions decline while creating more cost-effective policy in the face of tightened government spending is the next challenge.


These graphs show the changes in policy in the Power, Buildings, Industry, Transportation, and Agriculture sectors in US


Power Federal renewable energy incentives

Both state and federal governments created policies to support renewable energy. The two most prominent of these were federal renewable energy tax incentives and state level renewable portfolio standards.


    Industry State incentive programs for industrial technology improvement

    There was little cohesive industrial policy. Participation in the federal industrial assessment program declined, while state level programs grew.


      Buildings Building energy efficiency spending by government

      Efficiency spending by federal and local governments increased over the last decade, with a spike due to the 2009 stimulus.


        Transport Corporate average fuel economy standards

        Fuel efficiency standards remained largely unchanged for over two decades. Only recently have standards for passenger vehicles been revisited.