Zero Carbon Action Plan

In order to achieve zero carbon emissions, the US will need a plan. SDGPI is part of a coalition of the nation’s leading experts who have laid out the path forward to reach zero carbon emissions in the United States by 2050.  

Climate change represents a profound policy challenge to America and the world – requiring a response at a sweeping scale and with unprecedented speed centered on remaking the energy foundations of our society. The move to a clean and renewable energy future must be advanced at the same time America works to recover from the most serious pandemic in a century and the parallel economic collapse triggered by COVID-19. The Zero Carbon Action Plan (ZCAP) presented in the report responds comprehensively to this multidimensional policy imperative.

The ZCAP lays out a strategy for putting Americans back to work building a vibrant 21st century U.S. economy based on advanced technologies, good jobs, clean energy, climate safety, and economic security. It offers a pathway to achieve net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050 – thereby providing a basis for a dramatically ramped-up American contribution to the Paris Climate Agreement. The ZCAP agenda would promote efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C, the ambitious goal that the 2019 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report tells us that society should adopt to avoid the worst effects of global warming including sea level rise, increased hurricane damage, and changed rainfall patterns that might dramatically affect agricultural productivity as well as resulting in more floods, droughts, and wildfires.

ZCAP Chapters


Transforming the Power Sector in America’s Zero-Carbon Action Plan


Transforming Transportation in America’s Zero-Carbon Action Plan


Transforming Buildings in America’s Zero-Carbon Action Plan


The Just Transition in America’s Zero-Carbon Action Plan


Policy and Implementation of America’s Zero-Carbon Action Plan


Sustainable Materials Management in America’s ZCAP


Transforming Industry in America’s Zero-Carbon Action Plan

Land Use

Transforming the Food and Land-Use Sector in America’s ZCAP

Figures from the ZCAP

This figure details the four pillars of decarbonization necessary to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

 This figure shows the electric generation capacity of the central decarbonization scenario model for the ZCAP.