US carbon pollution rising

2019-01-08

in Economics, The environment

Several recent analyses have found that America’s contribution to climate change worsened in 2018:

There are a number of factors behind the rise in US emissions in 2018, some natural, mostly economic.

Prolonged cold spells in a number of regions drove up demand for energy in the winter, while a hot summer in many parts led to more air conditioning, again pushing up electricity use.

However economic activity is the key reason for the overall rise in CO2 emissions. Industries are moving more goods by trucks powered by diesel, while consumers are travelling more by air.

In the US this led to a 3% increase in diesel and jet fuel use last year, a similar rate of growth to that seen in the EU in the same period.

Economic growth consistently ranks as a higher priority for governments than environmental protection, even though failure to constrain carbon emissions threatens to destroy the entire economy in the decades ahead. Furthermore, failure to act anywhere legitimates inaction elsewhere. I’m sure the media and people commenting online about Canadian climate policy will use these headlines about the US to argue that action in Canada is pointless.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

. January 8, 2019 at 2:45 pm

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions spiked in 2018 — and it couldn’t happen at a worse time

The latest growth makes it increasingly unlikely that the United States will achieve a pledge made by the Obama administration in the run-up to the Paris climate agreement

R.K,. January 9, 2019 at 8:01 pm

Hence all the emphasis on “de-linking” economic growth from growth in emissions. It seems a lot more plausible that it will be possible to do that than it will be to get people to accept an end to growth or a contraction of living standards.

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