Saturday, February 27, 2016

Rising U.S. Emissions Make Paris Promises Elusive

Greenhouse Pollution Creeps Up (Credit: Click to Enlarge.
New data this week showing how little progress the United States has made in cutting greenhouse gas emissions since President Obama took office is the latest evidence to undercut the pledges the United States made in negotiating the Paris climate treaty.

The Clean Power Plan's crackdown on coal-fired power plants is on hold, thanks to the Supreme Court.  Methane emissions are turning out to be higher than previously thought, as natural gas booms.  People are buying more gas-guzzling cars, thanks to low prices at the pump.

And now, in a draft of its annual greenhouse gas emissions tally, the EPA reported that emissions in the year 2014 climbed almost 1 percent from 2013 to 2014.  That brought emissions back above the level of Obama's first year in office, 2009.

In negotiating the Paris treaty, signed in December, the U.S. pledged to cut emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025, below the level of 2005.

The new data show that from 2005 to 2014 emissions went down just 7.5 percent, leaving most of those promised reductions off in the distance, like a hazy mirage.

Most of that decline is due to the nosedive in emissions that came with the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009.

In a quarter-century, through Democratic and Republican administrations alike, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions have marched mostly in the wrong direction.

"Total U.S. emissions have increased by 7.7 percent from 1990 to 2014," the report stated.  "Since 1990, U.S. emissions have increased at an average annual rate of 0.3 percent."

Read more at Rising U.S. Emissions Make Paris Promises Elusive

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