Where to Focus U.S. Climate Policy
These are a couple of figures from a presentation I gave this week at the Energy Policy Research Conference in Boise, Idaho. They illustrate that zeroing out all U.S. CO2 emissions from global emissions would reset 2018 global emissions to 2006 levels, yet the trend would continue upward. Meaning, if climate change was a concern in 2006 with U.S. emissions included, then climate change would be a concern today if U.S. emissions were completely removed.
This isn’t intended to relieve the U.S. from taking action. Rather, it recommends that the greatest impact the U.S. can have on global carbon emissions is to engage and collaborate with emerging economies on the deployment of low- and zero-carbon energy technologies in support of their growing economic needs. One, in particular, is the Asia-Pacific region, which accounted for 89.9% of CO2 increase since 2000.
This is why I recommend, ad nauseam, that we’ll need an infusion of nuclear power in the U.S. and throughout the world to reorient this trend.
Climate change is global, and if all the U.S. does is develop climate policies based on trickle-down renewable energy integration, those policies will not insulate the U.S. from the impacts of a global issue that is increasing on the other side of the world.