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Since Biden will get us back into the Paris Climate Accord, this is a good reminder that the US is actually doing pretty well on that one

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2020, as we know and as these preliminary numbers show, was a different year due to the pandemic. But even despite that, we've seen an indisputable trend down since 08/09. 


This coincides with a drop in coal usage and in increase in renewables and natural gas.




If it weren't for COVID/economic distress, we still would have seen a reduction in carbon emissions.



Unfortunately, 2020 tells us little about what we can expect to see in 2021 and beyond. It certainly shouldn’t be considered a down payment toward meeting the 2025 US target under the Paris Agreement of 26-28% below 2005 levels. The enormous toll of economic damage and human suffering as a result of the pandemic is no cause for celebration. The vast majority of 2020’s emission reductions were due to decreased economic activity and not from any structural changes that would deliver lasting reductions in the carbon intensity of our economy. If COVID-19 and the resulting recession hadn’t happened, we estimate that US emissions would have declined by only around 3% this year, driven in large part by the decline of coal-fired power generation and to a lesser extent the reduction in heating demand due to warmer winter weather.  With growth expected to bounce back in 2021 (most forecasts currently project GDP growth of 3 to 4%), emissions will likely increase as well absent a concerted effort.


Well said on human suffering. Obviously, it's great that carbon emissions dropped, but doing this without the suffering/mental anguish of people is the goal.


I'm feeling more hopeful under Biden, actually, based on some early moves of his.

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