National Goal to Reduce Emissions Intensity
The United States is committed to reducing the greenhouse gas intensity of the American economy by 18 percent over the 10-year period from 2002 to 2012. This initiative puts America on a path to slow the growth of greenhouse gas emissions, and -- as the science supports -- to stop, and then reverse that growth.
What is our Greenhouse Gas Intensity?
Greenhouse gas intensity is the ratio of greenhouse gas emissions to economic output. The U.S. goal is to lower emissions from an estimated 183 metric tons per million dollars of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2002, to 151 metric tons per million dollars of GDP in 2012. The U.S. commitment will achieve 100 million metric tons of reduced emissions in 2012 alone, with more than 500 million metric tons in cumulative savings over the entire decade. The policy focuses on reducing emissions through technology improvements and dissemination, improving the efficiency of energy use, voluntary programs with industry and shifts to cleaner fuels.
The intensity-based approach promotes near-term opportunities (e.g. voluntary programs and partnerships) to conserve fossil fuel, recover methane and sequester carbon. These programs encourage the adoption of existing technologies, energy efficiency improvements and renewable resources to reduce emissions cost-effectively. In the longer term, development and deployment of breakthrough technologies will provide safe and reliable energy to fuel our economy with reduced or no greenhouse gas emissions.
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