Climate Change Contributes to Drop in Carbon Emissions
Call it another unexpected item on the list of unintended consequences. It makes total sense that a drop in the use of coal would result in a decrease in carbon emissions from the energy sector in 2016. That’s confirmed by the Energy Information Administration, which reports that overall emissions were down by 1.7%, the result of an 8.6% decrease in pollution from coal that followed from a 1.3% fall in coal use. But the EIA also reported that warmer weather was a big factor, too. In 2016, the US had 10% fewer days when buildings had to use heat. With less energy used for heating, buildings used less fuel—ergo, lower emissions. It’s a reminder that climate change is a holistic system, with many moving parts.
John Howell, Editorial Director
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