Journal of Environmental Planning and Management Publishes CCS National Emissions and Economic Recession Study

Journal of Environmental Planning and Management Publishes CCS National Emissions and Economic Recession Study

Journal of Environmental Planning and Management Publishes CCS National Emissions and Economic Recession Study

First released as a part of the 2012 Center for Climate Strategies (CCS) Security and Investment Project (SIP), the Journal of Environmental Planning and Management has published a groundbreaking peer-reviewed examination of the causes for decline of annual US carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions forecasts since 2007. Emissions declined steadily through 2012, including a 23 percent decline between 2007 and 2011, and sparked questions regards the influence of proactive policy versus the recession.

The CCS study, "The Great Recession or Progressive Energy Policies? Explaining the Decline in US Greenhouse Gas Emissions Forecasts,” is now published as a peer reviewed article in the Journal of Environmental Planning and Management. It is based on accepted statistical and energy modeling approaches used by Principal Investigator and CCS Senior Advisor Dr. Hal Nelson from Claremont Graduate University, as well as CCS colleagues. It documents the dominant role of energy and climate policies in the US on reducing national CO2 emissions trajectories based on the evaluation of changes in US Energy Information Administration forecasts through 2030, and other published reports.

Results show that declines in US CO2 emissions forecasts from 2007-2011 were caused primarily by proactive, multi-objective approaches to energy and resource policy as opposed to the recession or reduced natural gas prices. This report compliments the February, 2015 paper published in the Journal of Public Policy that simulates economic outcomes from state level stakeholder-based actions in each sector of the US economy that can be scaled to meet US climate goals and improve the nation’s economic and energy systems.

Through 2030, an estimated 46 percent of downward shifts in national CO2 projections can be attributed to eight clean energy policy actions at the state and federal levels, and another 26 percent are associated with a combination of smaller scale health, energy, and environmental actions and price changes.

While the short-term effects of the 2008 recession caused a 67 percent reduction in emissions from 2008 to 2009, long-term effects are lower. By 2030, only 18 percent of reduced emissions can be attributed to the economic downturn, and only 6 percent to fuel switching from coal to natural gas. Proactive effects of policy are much greater.

The methods used in this study can be used to establish “after the fact” effectiveness of climate mitigation policies in the face of economic cycles, and chart future actions that build wealth and meet climate and energy goals in other regions.

For copies of the study, email us at info@climatestrategies.us