US President Barack Obama has unveiled plans to cut carbon dioxide emissions from the country's power plants and focus on renewable energy generation.
The US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final Clean Power Plan requires power plant owners to curb carbon dioxide emissions by 32% from 2005 levels by 2030.
It includes reduction of sulfur dioxide emissions by 90% and nitrogen oxides by 72%.
The plan sets up a clean energy incentive program that will drive further early deployment of renewable energy and low-income energy efficiency.
Under the program, credits for energy generated from renewable sources in 2020 and 2021 will be awarded to projects that start construction after participating states submit their final implementation plans.
The Clean Power Plan features various key features to ensure grid reliability and includes provisions that require states to engage with low-income, minority, and tribal communities in developing their plans
EPA administrator Gina McCarthy said: "The United States is leading by example today, showing the world that climate action is an incredible economic opportunity to build a stronger foundation for growth.
"The valuable feedback we received means the final Clean Power Plan is more ambitious yet more achievable, so states can customize plans to achieve their goals in ways that make sense for their communities, businesses and utilities."
EPA is also releasing a proposed federal implementation plan, which will offer a model for states to be used in designing their plans.
Image: The Clean Power Plan requires power plant owners to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 32% from 2005 levels by 2030. Photo: courtesy of Arvind Balaraman/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.