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Zero carbon future won't be easy for Arizona, but it could be within reach

A team of ASU researchers with the College of Global Futures has taken an in-depth look at how Arizona might cut fossil fuel emissions to zero.

Their report says that although it’s possible, it won’t be easy.

The researchers found that some of the earliest challenges are on target, with coal-fired power plants slated for closure and electric cars becoming more popular.

But a couple of decades down the road, getting to zero becomes difficult. 

Wider use of electricity, carbon capture and hydrogen power will be necessary, as well as a focus on environmental justice. But the first stages are within reach.

“And then it really depends on what technologies are available and at what cost, to be able to figure out exactly when and how we’ll get that final 20, 25% of the problem,” said Clark Miller, one of the authors of the study.

He said that one of the first challenges will be not only to convert the state to electric vehicles but to figure out how to charge them, an infrastructure challenge for businesses, schools and municipalities. You can find the report at https://osf.io/6nw8y/.

Ron Dungan was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2020 to 2024.