RELEASE: CAP Issues Framework for 100 Percent Clean Future by 2050

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress released a framework for how the United States can build a 100 Percent Clean Future through an approach that ensures good-paying jobs and a commitment to environmental justice.

The framework would cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by at least 43 percent below 2005 levels by 2030—consistent with the IPCC’s special report on 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming—which would set the U.S. on a path to net-zero emissions by 2050. To get there as quickly as the science demands, the report calls for strong economywide targets; sets specific sector-by-sector benchmarks for success; estimates the emission reductions these would deliver; and discusses how to spur the rest of the world to follow along.

“Climate change threatens our national security, economic success, and public health today and for decades to come” said John Podesta, founder and a member of the Board of Directors for CAP. “This report calls for addressing the crisis by putting people to work and building the necessary infrastructure to overcome that threat. It also confronts the economic, racial, and social injustices that persist and unjustly amplify climate impacts today.”

“Millions of Americans are both witnessing and experiencing the destruction caused by record heatwaves, severe floods, and powerful hurricanes. We can no longer afford to delay decisive action on climate change,” said Neera Tanden, president and CEO of CAP. “Our plan embraces the reality of science and offers an effective way to reach the goal of creating a 100 Percent Clean Future in the next 30 years.”

CAP’s report lays out how we can build the 100 Percent Clean Future that science demands in two parts. First, it highlights successful climate action by governors and legislatures in nine states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico that have committed to 100 percent clean goals. CAP recommends building on that success at the national level by embracing three key pillars from some of those states: an ambitious 100 percent clean target; a worker-centered approach to ensure good paying, quality jobs; and a plan that is committed to reductions in legacy pollution that has disproportionately affected economically disadvantaged communities and communities of color.

The second part of the report considers emissions by sector and recommends achievable benchmarks to guide a sustained, concerted, and urgent policy program to achieve a 100 Percent Clean Future by 2050:

  • At least 65 percent of electricity must come from clean sources by 2030 and 100 percent no later than 2050.
  • Car and SUV sales must reach 100 percent zero-emission by 2035, and vehicle miles travelled in urban areas must be reduced 18 percent below baseline.
  • All new buildings and appliances must be electric and highly efficient by 2035.
  • The nation must invest at least $120 billion in agriculture by 2030, more than doubling conservation, research, and renewable energy funding.
  • We must cut manufacturing emissions 15 percent by 2030 and set in motion a technology agenda for deep decarbonization.
  • We must protect 30 percent of America’s lands and oceans by 2030 and deploy climate-smart agricultural practices on 100 million acres, building toward a gigaton of new carbon sequestration by 2050.

CAP offers policy recommendations to accomplish these benchmarks and deliver additional emission reductions throughout the report, including a combination of sector-specific deployment policies, direct federal spending, a broad price on carbon pollution, and mandatory emissions reductions in communities historically overburdened by pollution.

Read the report: “A 100 Percent Clean Future” by John Podesta, Christy Goldfuss, Trevor Higgins, Bidisha Bhattacharyya, Alan Yu and Kristina Costa.

Read a fact sheet on A 100 Percent Clean Future.

View an interactive that shows how six sector-specific benchmarks are enough to achieve roughly 90 percent of the emission reductions required by 2030 and 2050.

For more information or to talk to an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at or 202-478-6327.