Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Can the United States Keep a Net Zero Promise? A Federal Climate Briefing Book


Climate change is both an urgent problem and one that it has taken decades for the United States government to address in a comprehensive way. The purpose of this project is to frame the central problem of global warming – the accumulation of CO2 in our atmosphere and oceans – and to understand broadly the role of the federal government in reducing atmospheric carbon. The US cannot single-handedly solve global warming but it can do its part as the world’s second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases and the beneficiary of decades of economic development built on fossil fuel energy. Is the US on track to achieve its goal of net zero carbon by 2050?

The format that follows is a loosely-defined “briefing book” with two interwoven parts: talking points appropriate for non-experts, and brief accompanying figures or analysis. This structure seeks to organize essential information, and the final product is a look at federal climate policy tools and a quick-reference guide of illustrative facts and language useful for climate communications, for voter education, for grant-writing, for media research, or for any other context requiring basic, clear and credible messaging.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View