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In fast-urbanizing China, nearly 90 percent of coastal cities face some degree of water scarcity and roughly 300 million rural residents lack access to clean water.

To quench the country’s chronic thirst, the Chinese government has turned to desalination, aiming to produce as much as 3 million cubic meters of desalinated water daily by 2020, up from today’s 0.77 million cubic meter.

Homes and commercial buildings account for 74 percent of electricity demand in the United States, making them a critical part of any plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The good news is that policies put into place over the last three decades—including appliance efficiency standards, voluntary labeling programs like ENERGY STAR, and state energy-savings targets—have already helped offset rising demand for electricity and saved consumers billions of dollars. New research shows that with the right policies in place, consumers and the environment can capture even greater benefits.

A new WRI study finds that there are many “win-win” opportunities for the United States to reduce emissions and save money for consumers and businesses.

Over the coming weeks, our blog series, Lower Emissions, Brighter Economy, will evaluate these opportunities across five key areas—power generation, electricity consumption, passenger vehicles, natural gas systems, and hydrofluorocarbons—which together represent 55 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

Later this week, the European Council will decide on a target to further reduce the EU’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030.

At issue is whether the Council will decide to reduce emissions by “at least 40 percent” from 1990 levels—leaving the door open to increase ambition in negotiation with other countries—or cap reductions at just 40 percent, locking in a lower goal and possibly influencing other countries to do the same.


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