U.S. Carbon Emissions Fall to Lowest Level in Two Decades

A new report indicates that carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. have fallen by 13% in the past five years. The last time carbon emissions were this low, Ace of Base was topping the charts and "Pulp Fiction" was reviving the career of John Travolta.
February 1, 2013, 10am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Suzanne Goldenberg discusses the findings of a report compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) for the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE), which attributed the drop to "new energy-saving technologies and a doubling in the take-up of renewable energy."

"As described by Bloomberg, the US is in the throes of a major shift in energy production. Coal fell to just 18.1% of America's energy mix last year, down from 22.5% in 2007. Oil use also declined." At the same time total energy use fell. "Most of the emissions cuts were due to installing more efficient heating and cooling systems in commercial building. Other cuts in emission came from transport, with 488,000 Americans last year opting for hybrid and plug-in vehicles."

"By the end of last year," she notes, "America's emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions had fallen 10.7% from the 2005 baselines."

"The reduction in climate pollution – even as Congress failed to act on climate change – brings America more than halfway towards Barack Obama's target of cutting emissions by 17% from 2005 levels over the next decade, the Bloomberg analysts said."

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Published on Friday, February 1, 2013 in The Guardian
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