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Seeing is Believing: Creating a New Climate Economy in the United States

Building on the recently-released New Climate Economy report, this new analysis provides evidence and real-world examples demonstrating how the United States is already seizing economic returns while reducing its greenhouse gas emissions—and outlines what can be done to further hasten these positive trends.

Executive Summary

A growing body of evidence finds that economic growth and tackling climate change can be achieved together. This is changing the way decision-makers think about economic and climate action.

The new study Seeing Is Believing builds on the global New Climate Economy report, identifying five sectors in the United States that are primed to capture additional economic benefits and combat climate change.

Seeing is Believing shows many real-world examples where sustained technological progress and public policies are creating opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while delivering net economic benefits.

In addition, a number of emerging new technologies could unlock even more opportunities to achieve reductions sooner and faster.

Seeing is Believing offers policy recommendations that would further reduce emissions and bring additional economic benefits. These recommendations will bring even more efficient products to market, hasten the uptake of better technologies and products, and encourage improvements to existing buildings and equipment.

Overview

This study examined several opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including:

  • Reducing the carbon intensity of power generation

  • Improving electric efficiency in the residential and commercial sectors

  • Building cleaner, more fuel-efficient passenger vehicles

  • Improving production, processing, and transmission of natural gas, and

  • Reducing consumption of high global warming-potential hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)

These five measures can drive significant greenhouse gas emissions reductions. If done right, they can also lead to net economic benefits, even before the benefits of avoiding climate change are considered.

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