23 measures to cut US emissions by 27% by 2020 1


You know it if you have been reading this blog for a while, I am advocating energy efficiency as the ultimate solution to all our climate and energy issues as it can be applied literally everywhere.

As a matter of facts we have seen this is the cheapest way to cut emissions and even save money. So when a new report by the Center for Climate Strategies on the very matter brings more data I can only but share it with you.

According to its authors, the 23 measures proposed would save America $5 billion per year (3.74 billion euros) and cut emissions by 27 percent below 1990 levels in 2020.

This is far more than currently proposed. On top of all this – and as if it wasn’t enough – it would create 2.5 million jobs, something much needed as unemployment keeps increasing there.

Here is to CleanTechnica the five most efficient means with regards to the amount of money they save :

1. Shift from Truck to Rail Cost: -$91.56 per ton. Incentivising a move to rail (or river) cargo movement rather than trucks also reduces smog and wear and tear on highways.

2. Vehicle Purchase Incentives Cost: -$66.37 per ton. Incentives like cash for clunkers for choosing fuel-efficient vehicles. Switching to pay-as-you-drive auto insurance, (which makes insurance more expensive for more miles driven).

3. Anti-Idling Technologies and Practices Cost: -$65.19 per ton. Setting limits on how long buses and trucks can idle, and investing in electrification of truck stops. Requiring automatic engine shut-down/start-up system controls.

4. Appliance Standards Cost: -$53.21 per ton. Setting higher appliance efficiency standards which make it cost effective for manufacturers to compete in efficiency, knowing there will be a market creating an economy of scale.

5.Energy Efficiency: Demand Side Management Cost: -$40.71 per ton. Rewarding energy reduction, such as decoupling utilities and offering incentives to reduce energy (by investing in efficient appliances or machinery).

Here is some personal reflection on each of them :

  1. I have been advocating such a move previously for France as our highways are packed with trucks that literally cross France each and every day. I guess the situation is pretty much the same in the US ;
  2. Both cash for clunkers in America and the current bonus-malus system in France were or are successes. Extending such policies would indeed prove to be a good idea. Good buy SUVs, hello efficient and small cars !
  3. Anti-idling systems already exists for some models. It is high time to extend these great technologies to ALL existing models. I can’t imagine the quantities of energy and greenhouse gases emissions that would be saved this way with all the current trafic congestions in cities like Paris.
  4. The US appliances have lower standards than their European counterparts. Generalizing tougher standards similar to the ones found here would be also a great idea.

For more on this, you may also read Climate Solve : 23 Energy Policies That Could Save Americans $5 Billion a Year


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