Soros-backed group: ‘Messy’ US green energy efforts yielding results

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The U.S. is the world’s second-largest greenhouse gas emitter behind China, which raced past the U.S. roughly six years ago, but U.S. carbon emissions have been falling in recent years.

The report notes that this stems from the reduced demand during the recession, the growth of natural gas as a power source at coal’s expense, and various green energy programs. Looking forward, U.S. officials are also planning new Environmental Protection Agency regulations to curb emissions.

From the report:

Lack of U.S. legislative action on climate—while a continuing challenge—does not mean that the U.S. is not doing anything. The U.S. must strive to learn from its own varied experience with emissions-reducing policies, as well as those of other countries, as it builds toward a more coherent, effective climate policy regime—both upward from the state and local levels, and downward from the federal level.

The analysis of U.S. policy is part of the much broader report unveiled Monday that assesses climate policies in China, India, the U.S., Brazil and the European Union.

The report looks at what’s happening at the national and lower levels of government in these nations at a time when global climate talks are floundering. 

The answer is: A lot. But global emissions are continuing to rise amid increases in China, India and elsewhere.

“In spite of stalemate at the global level, there have been real climate policy accomplishments at the national and subnational levels, particularly in the last decade,” said Thomas C. Heller, executive director of Climate Policy Initiative, in a statement.

“Our job now is to learn from and build on this experience,” he said.