Enery related CO2 emissions are trending downward, hopefully this trend can continue. Surprisingly, all this happened without a big government mandate. Now, if only we would start using more nuclear power.
The Department of Energy has run the numbers on US carbon emissions in 2009, and found they dropped by about seven percent compared to the previous year, the largest decline the agency has ever seen. Although the economic downturn had been expected to lower emissions, the slowdown in GDP only accounted for about a third of the change. Greater efficiencies, less-energy-intensive activities, and a shift away from coal use accounted for the rest. The numbers haven't been this low since the mid-1990s and, even adjusting for the economy, take us a substantial distance towards President Obama's goal of cutting emissions to 17 percent below 2005 levels by the end of the decade.
US carbon emissions plunge—not just because of lousy economy