Closer than You Think: Latest U.S. CO2 Pollution Data and Forecasts Show Target Within Reach

Issue Brief
July 19, 2012

Despite Congress' failure to enact comprehensive energy and climate legislation, surprising, and under-appreciated, progress has been made in reducing U.S. carbon dioxide emissions during the last few years. In 2011, U.S. emissions of energy-related carbon dioxide were 8.7 percent below 2005 levels, despite a 5.5 percent increase in the size of our economy. This remarkable result is due primarily to reduced reliance on coal-fired power plants and increased passenger vehicle efficiency, driven by a combination of policy and market forces.