Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Lester Brown Reports Carbon Emissions Have Dropped

Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute reports that U.S. carbon emissions have dropped nine percent in the last two years.
For years now, many members of Congress have insisted that cutting carbon emissions was difficult, if not impossible. It is not. During the two years since 2007, carbon emissions have dropped 9 percent. While part of this drop is from the recession, part of it is also from efficiency gains and from replacing coal with natural gas, wind, solar, and geothermal energy.
The United States has ended a century of rising carbon emissions and has now entered a new energy era, one of declining emissions. Peak carbon is now history. What had appeared to be hopelessly difficult is happening at amazing speed.
A small portion of the drop could be attributed to the economic slowdown, but I don't think carbon emissions will climb again once the economy starts growing again. After all, GDP didn't fall nine percent during the recession.
Instead, we will see increasing investment in low carbon technologies like solar, wind and energy efficiency, while coal power projects are being cancelled. This doesn't mean climate legislation isn't needed. CO2 is still accumulating in the atmosphere. What this news means is that it is possible to shift our civilization away from carbon.


Blogger Jack said...

With Obama's executive order to put the largest US energy consumer (US Gov) on a diet, this trend should continue. As was pointed out, the Climate Bill is still very much required, as are diligent efforts at the state, local and personal levels. We're still on a collision course with a climate disaster.

11:11 AM, November 06, 2009  

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