US, NC emissions are declining thanks to market forces. Why aren’t Europe’s?

Last year I sought to allay concerns in the United Kingdom about the U.S. pulling out of the Paris Accord by pointing out a very important fact to Sky News viewers:

[W]hat is being lost in the discussion so far is that we [in the United States] are already moving forward with reducing emissions.

The U.S. left the accord, the predictable hysterics were made, and … the U.S. is outdoing the European nations in emissions reductions in spite of it all. Outdoing all the world, in fact.

Reason reports:

Overall, according the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018 report, the E.U. carbon dioxide emissions are down by 12.4 percent since 2007. Interestingly, emissions since 2014 have been going up in 14 out of the 19 larger E.U. countries listed by BP. These countries include Germany, France, Poland, Spain, and the Netherlands. For Europe as a whole carbon dioxide emissions increased by 2.5 percent in 2017.

And here falls the other shoe:

In contrast, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions continue their downward trend, dropping by 15.2 percent since 2007. In 2017, they fell by 0.5 percent. It is worth noting that a new report by the Rhodium Group consultancy suggests that the U.S. is on track to meet earlier Obama adminstration promises under the earlier Copenhagen Accord to reduce U.S. carbon dioxide emissions by 17 percent below their 2005 levels by 2020.

The Rhodium Group report further noted that between 2005 and 2016 almost 80 percent of the reductions in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions came from the electric power sector as coal-fired plants were closed down and utilities switched to burning lower carbon natural gas to generate electricity.

This is big news, yes? News media seem bizarrely uninterested in actual emissions reductions taking place.

Why? We’ve been asking that question at least since 2012.

Oh, by the way …

Emissions have been falling all century in North Carolina, too, thanks to market forces, not government.

So why would anyone sincerely concerned about emissions want us to mimic energy policies of Germany and Spain, where emissions have been rising since 2014?

Jon Sanders / Director of Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...

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