United States

Making progress despite policy gridlock

The United States has created a “messy but useful” combination of incentives, regulation, persuasion, and innovation at the federal and state level, which has contributed to a recent decline in emissions. Sustaining and escalating this emissions decline while creating more cost-effective policy in the face of tightened government spending is the next challenge.

subjectEmissions

These graphs show the changes in emissions and growth in the Power, Buildings, Industry, Transportation, and Agriculture sectors in US

 
 
 

Power Emissions and generation


There was steady emissions and generation growth through the mid-2000s. Until recently, emissions grew in tandem with increasing electricity demand.

     
     
     
     

    Industry Industry emissions


    Industrial emissions declined before the recession even as industrial production rose

       
       
       
       

      Buildings Building sector emissions


      Emissions grew slowly, but steadily, until 2005, when emissions peaked and slowly declined.

         
         
         
         

        Transport Emissions and transport activity


        Both passenger and freight travel increased significantly since 1980. Passenger travel dropped significantly during the recession.