U.S. More Than Meets Pledged Copenhagen Climate Accord Greenhouse Gas Emissions Cuts
President Barack Obama pledged at the Copenhagen climate conference back in 2009 to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent by the year 2020. Guess what? We more than did it.
At that 2009 meeting, then-Secretary of State John Kerry assured the conference delegates that the U.S. would likely reduce its green house gas (GHG) emissions even more because in the coming years it would be so easy and cheap to cut them that “every country that has put a reductions target out there will exceed their targets.” (President-elect Joe Biden has selected Kerry to serve as a special envoy for climate, giving him a seat on the National Security Council.)
While it is true the cost of electricity from wind and solar power are falling, the bulk of U.S. emissions reductions between 2009 and 2019 stemmed from electric power generators switching from coal to natural gas. In a new report, the Rhodium Group consultancy estimates that as the result of the COVID-19 economic shock U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell this year by 10.3 percent. “This puts US GHG emissions below 1990 levels for the first time,” notes the report. “With emissions down 21% below 20
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