Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), potent greenhouse gases commonly used as refrigerants, are a small but rapidly growing component of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Fortunately, climate-friendly substitutes exist, and some of these alternatives can even create net savings for consumers.
President Obama reiterated his commitment to combating climate change during this week's State of the Union address.
Mitigating these impacts means turning the many climate commitments of 2014 into tangible action in 2015.
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. Our blog series, Lower Emissions, Brighter Economy, evaluates these opportunities across five key areas—power generation, electricity consumption, passenger vehicles, natural gas systems and hydrofluorocarbons (coming soon) —which together represent 55 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
WASHINGTON (January 14, 2015)— The Obama administration announced a goal to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40 to 45 percent (from 2012 levels) by 2025, along with a suite of actions to achieve this target. Methane is the second most important greenhouse after carbon dioxide and represents around 10 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
The World Resources Institute has appointed former Mayor of Portland, Oregon, Sam Adams as the new director of its U.S. Climate Initiative. Adams will lead WRI’s strategy to analyze and develop new policies, build political will and support coalitions that will encourage the country’s transition to a strong, low-carbon economy.
The number of SUV models getting at least 25 miles per gallon (mpg) has doubled in the last five years, while the number of cars achieving at least 40 mpg has increased sevenfold. Research shows that new policies can drive efficient vehicle use even further, lowering emissions and saving consumers money.
Oil prices are plummeting, the United States and China made a major joint climate announcement, and renewable energy reached price parity with coal in a growing number of markets. Iconic tech companies—including Google and Apple—are playing a larger role in both renewable energy and home energy efficiency.
Against this backdrop, 2014 is on track to go down as the world’s hottest year ever recorded. Already, the first 10 months of 2014 have been the hottest on record globally. This is a troubling trend.
This chart is based on data from the fact sheet, Power Sector Opportunities for Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions: Virginia.
Read about additional analyses in WRI’s fact sheet series, Power Sector Opportunities for Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions.
President Obama announced a national climate plan in June 2013, directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set carbon pollution standards for the power sector. Once EPA establishes those standards, states will implement their own plans for achieving those reductions.