The Way Forward on Global Warming - Environment America

The Way Forward on Global Warming - Environment America

in these programs largely spurred by

state legislation to encourage energy

efficiency. 31

ong>Theong> United States has eight times as much solar photovoltaic

electricity capacity and five times as much wind energy capacity

as the nation did in 2004. Photo: Envision Solar

for new residential and commercial

construction. 29 In 2010, building

code officials adopted a new national

model building energy code, for implementation

beginning in 2012,that

will reduce energy consumption in

new buildings by 30 percent relative

to buildings constructed according to

existing standards. 30

• Ten northeastern states implemented

the nation’s first cap-and-trade program

for carbon dioxide emissions

from power plants. ong>Theong> program has

capped carbon emissions from the

region’s power plants while promoting

the region’s transition to a cleaner

energy system.

• Seven states have adopted enforceable

caps on global warming pollution

from their state economies. In

California, the state cap was affirmed

by voters in 2010 with more than 60

percent of the vote.

ong>Theong> amount of new energy efficiency

savings delivered by utility ratepayerfunded

energy efficiency programs

has nearly tripled, with the growth

• Thanks to a combination of state and

regional policies and programs to

limit carbon dioxide emissions from

new power plants—as well as strong

grassroots activism—America’s coalfired

electricity generating capacity is

marginally lower than it was in 2002.

ong>Theong> “coal rush” that analysts predicted

to occur in the mid-2000s, which

would have resulted in dramatic

increases in carbon dioxide pollution,

never materialized.

Americans now drive fewer miles

each year than they did in 2007,

following decades of consistent

increases in driving. ong>Theong> number of

trips taken via transit nationally has

increased by more than 10 percent

since 2004. 32 New transportation

services such as car-sharing and bikesharing

are increasingly available

in American cities, and consumer

preferences for new housing have

shifted toward compact, walkable

living arrangements that dramatically

reduce the need to drive. 33

Clean Energy Policies Have

Reduced Global Warming


ong>Theong>se and other clean energy victories

over the last decade have had a marked

impact on global warming pollution—an

impact that will only increase in the years

to come.

Seven years ago, the U.S. Energy Information

Administration (EIA)—the independent

analysis and forecasting arm of

18 ong>Theong> ong>Wayong> ong>Forwardong> on Global Warming

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