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Home > By DEPARTMENTS > Leadership and Governance for Sustainability > Risk Management by Governance

YEAH! Both oil and coal use have fallen sharply in the US!

U.S. carbon emissions peaked in 2007 and have dropped by 9 percent in two years.

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The United States has entered a new energy era, ending a century of rising carbon emissions.

As Earth Policy Institute president Lester R. Brown writes in Sunday’s Washington Post Outlook section, "the United States has entered a new energy era, ending a century of rising carbon emissions.

"For a country where oil and coal use have been growing for more than a century, the fall since 2007 is startling.

Last year,

  • Oil use dropped 5%
  • Coal 1%
  • Overall carbon emissions by 3%

Projections for this year, 2009, based on Energy Department data for the first eight months, show oil use down by an additional 5%. Coal is estimated to fall by 10%.

Altogether, carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels, including natural gas, dropped 9% over the two years.

Even though part of this decline in carbon emissions was caused by the recession and higher gasoline prices, part of it came from gains in energy efficiency and shifts to carbon-free sources of energy, including record amounts of new wind-generating capacity.

Climate Change Initiatives

Initiatives in the policy pipeline, including stronger automobile fuel-economy standards, appliance efficiency standards, and the vast potential to develop carbon-free wind, solar, and geothermal energy mean that future emissions declines are in store. Brown says: “This impressive recent drop in carbon emissions, and those in prospect, should enable the United States to push for a steep cut in Copenhagen.”

... just another 50% to go! :-)

Full article available at Earth Policy Institute.

Lester Brown, president of Earth Policy Institute, is author of the book “Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization,” which will be released on September 30, 2009.

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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