U.S. Meets 2012 Kyoto CO2 Standard!
Upon further review the U.S. did not meet it’s Kyoto defined standard (http://unfccc.int/cop3/fccc/info/indust.htm). The standard met in 2012 is the global average 5.2% standard and then only below 1997 levels. The U.S. has reduced its CO2 emissions 12.1% below its 2007 peak high and has, by far, reduced CO2 more than any other large industrialized nation.
Specifically, the Kyoto standard set for the U.S. was 7% below its 1990 CO2 emissions level. The U.S. still has to reduce emissions by another 607 million metric tons to do that.
Last year, the United States became the first major industrialized nation in the world to meet the United Nation’s original Kyoto Protocol 2012 target for CO2 reductions.
Kyoto is an international agreement proposed in December 1997 requiring nations to reduce CO2 emissions by 5.2% below 1997 levels by 2012. It became international law when ratified by Russia in November 2004. The United States never ratified Kyoto and is not legally bound by it.
Kyoto is the bedrock of international law that serves as the legal foundation used by all nations for their individual actions taken to reduce global CO2 emissions. The United States, the lone non-signatory, is now the only major polluter to have met the standard.
Today in Energy
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) today unknowingly reports the incredible climate change news in its daily email alert titled “Today in Energy”.
You can learn a lot from the EIA… and they always teach using pretty graphics.
They allow you to download their graphic’s data to see things for yourself. That is where you discover that the U.S. has met the Kyoto standard.
Today the EIA simply reports that U.S. CO2 emissions in 2012 were the lowest since 1994. Though amazing in itself, it is not headline news.
Meeting the Kyoto Protocol standard should be front page news.
U.S. Meets Kyoto Protocol Standard
The downloaded data shows that U.S. total CO2 emissions for coal, oil and natural gas were 5,584 million metric tons in 1997.
It also shows that U.S. CO2 emissions rose to 6,023 million metric tons of CO2 in 2007 before they began to fall.
In 2012, U.S. CO2 emissions fell to 5,293 million metric tons. That is 291 million metric tons less than they were in 1997 and 730 million metric tons less than their 2007 peak.
Drum roll please…
291 million metric tons below 1997 levels is a 5.2% reduction in CO2 emissions. It EXACTLY meets the Kyoto requirement!
Big Shakeup in Climate Change Thinking Needed
Obviously, the downturn in the economy in 2008 played a big roll in U.S. CO2 emissions. You can even see the downturn dent it caused in the EIA pictures above. However, CO2 emissions have continued to drop even as the economy has improved.
The recession-riddled European Union (EU) ratified the Kyoto Protocol, imposed cap and trade taxes, imposed stringent regulations limiting CO2 emissions and have spent countless billions in the fight against climate change.
Yet, the EU can’t do what the U.S. has now achieved. Why?
U.S. petroleum emission reductions are partly responsible; about 68.9 million metric tons worth. Auto emission cafe standards probably contributed most of that.
However, the vast majority of the CO2 reductions – 222 million metric tons below 1997 levels – came from a shift away from coal to natural gas. Natural gas is the cleanest of the fossil fuels. Coal is the dirtiest.
That shift was made possible not by government regulations and billions of taxpayer dollars, but from the availability of plentiful and cheap natural gas. It is an entirely private-sector driven effort.
It was made possible by the environmentalist’s worst nightmare – fracking!
The anti-fossil, global warming lobby may ask, “What about wind, solar, biodiesel, conservation and electric cars? Isn’t government-led CO2 reduction efforts through regulations and a $100 billion investment in clean energy initiatives under President Obama responsible for the U.S. meeting the Kyoto standard?”
In a word, “No!”
Wind, solar, biodiesel, nuclear and hydro electric are carbon neutral. That means they themselves neither add nor subtract from CO2 emissions. The only way they can reduce emissions is by replacing energy sources that do.
Energy usage in the United States is growing. All the carbon neutral renewable energy sources combined make up less that 13% of total energy use. They haven’t grown enough since 1997 to keep up with energy consumption growth, let alone reduce CO2 emissions through replacement.
In 2012, fossil fuels supplied 82% of all the energy used in the United States. The private-sector driven shift from coal to natural gas is what made it possible for the U.S. to meet the Kyoto standard.
The rest of the world continues belching out CO2. It continues rising steadily despite all the UN and government led initiatives to stop it.
The world needs an energy reality check. Fossil fuels are here to stay for a long time to come. Mitigating their effects should be the world’s #1 priority.
Fracking is what made it possible for the United States to reach the Kyoto standard!