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Nationally Determined Contribution of the US

Every effective climate change agreement always requires broad participation, stimulates high compliance rates, and reflects high individual and collective ambitions (Bang, Hovi, & Skodvin, 2016). The 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement aims to meet these high standards and encourages all nations to contribute to the achievement of the formulated global environmental goals including carbon neutrality and restricted mean temperature rise. Each party has reported its intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) outlining a set of individual environmental objectives. The United States has communicated its commitments as well. The emphasis in its environmental initiatives is made on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The country expects to decrease greenhouse gas concentration by 26-28 percent below 2005 rates by 2025 (Vine, 2016).

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Considering the fact that the level of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and some other substances in the atmosphere has grown during 1990-2005 by 892 MMT (from 6,397 to 7,379 MMT) (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2016), the reduction of the greenhouse gas concentration to 5313 MMT seems to be very ambitious. Such a relatively low level of greenhouse gasses has not been observed throughout two decades. Moreover, this period is associated with the rapid development of domestic industries and international commerce which, in their turn, has stimulated the increase in the use of multimodal transportation services and electric power. Thus, in order to achieve the desired change and, at the same time, maintain commercial operations in an efficient manner at both domestic and global levels, a substantial technologic advancement is needed.

To fulfill its strategic environmental goals, the United States intends to undertake numerous measures including refinement of fuel economy standards, optimization of forestry and land use, enabling national policies aimed to promote safer alternatives, etc. (Vine, 2016). However, it is possible to say that the initiatives targeting industrial, transportation, and commercial sectors will be the most efficient.

The total emissions from transportation and electricity consumption are much higher than the sum of emissions from all other sources. And it is clear that the contribution to greenhouse gas pollution is much bigger on the corporate level than the individual one. Despite the fact that environmental protection represents a significant public concern, many organizations prefer to adhere to the traditional and familiar forms of operation. But according to the recent research findings, enterprises may gain many tangible and intangible benefits by implementing ecological initiatives including increased competitiveness, and improved organizational image, cost efficiency, etc. (Marchet, Melacini, & Perotti, 2014).

Therefore, the government should strive to promote the culture of environmental protection among different companies (especially large commercial enterprises and manufacturers) and control their activities through national and state regulations and taxation on excess carbon use, etc. It is possible to say that the success of the U.S. environmental endeavors will largely depend on the extent to which corporations will be ready to embrace the change and invest in “greening” organizational logistics, transportation, and production systems. However, substantial changes require considerable investments, and not all enterprises may be currently able to transform their operational methods. By providing financial solutions; funding development of new ecologically-friendly technology and research in the field of environment protection and green organizational management; promotion of alternative sources of power and sustainable transportation, etc. the U.S. authorities will be able to support organizations in their efforts to adopt more environmentally friendly practices.

Overall, the current U.S.’s INDC meets the criteria of an effective environmental agreement mentioned at the beginning of the paper. First of all, it requires a high level of individual and organizational involvement in the process of ecological improvement. It aims to motivate people to be more responsible. And finally, it is very ambitious because the formulated goals are challenging enough. To obtain the desired accomplishments, the fundamental changes in value and technology systems are needed. And by developing an ambitious plan and designing appropriate follow-up methods, the United States increases the chance of making their NDC more successful.

References

Bang, G., Hovi, J., & Skodvin, T. (2016). The Paris Agreement: Short-term and long-term effectiveness. Politics and Governance, 4(3), 209-218. Web.

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Marchet, G., Melacini, M., & Perotti, S. (2014). Environmental sustainability in logistics and freight transportation. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 25(6), 775-811.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (2016). Inventory of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and sinks: 1990-2014. Web.

Vine, D. (2016). Achieving the United States’ Intended Nationally Determined Contribution. Web.

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