Skip to main content

Delivering on America's Pledge: Achieving Climate Progress in 2020

Back to All Publications
biker covid

The latest America’s Pledge analysis responds to the unique, historic moments of 2020—COVID-19, an economic recession, and a disengaged federal government—by highlighting the ongoing, ambitious climate action led by US states, cities, and businesses. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession, our analysis shows that the US has passed a tipping point in its energy transition and clean energy technologies are here to stay. Our sector-by-sector analysis finds that even in the face of severe budget cuts and immense uncertainty, the continued leadership from diverse states, cities, and businesses; growing public outcry for climate action; and shifting market forces have only increased our confidence that US states, cities, and businesses can drive the 2030 emissions reductions previously modeled—a 37% reduction by 2030, with or without help from the national government. In addition, the analysis shows that climate action from US cities, states, and business—representing nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population and nearly 70% of U.S. GDP—has been bolder, faster, and more consequential over the last three years than ever before. Yet, a coordinated effort across all sectors, including the national government, is necessary to set America on the path towards net-zero emissions. With re-engagement from the national government coupled with an economic stimulus package explicitly addressing climate and energy transitions, the US—building on four years of bold climate progress from non-state actors—can slash emissions in half by 2030 beginning in 2021, reach net zero by 2040, and fully align with the Paris Agreement.

Read the second part of the 2020 analysis—We Are Still In on Delivering America's Pledge: A Retrospective.


View All Publications

School Authors: Nathan Hultman, Leon Clarke, Haewon McJeon, Morgan Edwards, Yiyun 'Ryna' Cui, Christina Bowman

Other Authors: Carla Frisch , Kevin Kennedy, Tom Cyrs, Pete Hansel, Paul Bodnar, Michelle Manion , Jessie Lund , Michael I. Westphal, Andrew Clapper , Joel Jaeger , Arijit Sen , Jiehong Lou, Devashree Saha, Wendy Jaglom, Koben Calhoun, Kristin Igusky, James deWeese, Kareem Hammoud, J.C. Altimirano, Margaret Dennis, Chris Henderson, Gill Zwicker, John O'Neill