WASHINGTON - January 31 - Today on Capitol Hill the Sierra Club joined with the American Solar Energy Society (ASES), key Congressional chairmen and representatives, and the nationís preeminent climate scientist to unveil a new report authored by ASES that lays out a plan for dramatically reducing the nationís global warming emissions. The roadmap--now the official Sierra Club global warming strategy--details how an aggressive, yet achievable increase in the use of energy efficiency and renewables alone can achieve a 60-80% reduction in U.S. global warming emissions by 2050.
"This report moves the discussion from whether we can achieve the necessary reductions in global warming pollution with energy efficiency and renewable energy in this country to exactly how we should do it," said Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director. "Fully three-quarters of the reductions in global warming pollution called for by Dr. Hansen and other scientists can be realized using energy efficiency, wind, and solar--all technologies we have today. The rest can be made with geothermal, biofuels, biomass, and other renewables. We already have the best, cheapest, and cleanest solutions at our disposal; now we just need the market and our political leaders to put them to work."
Climate scientists agree that in order to prevent the most catastrophic effects of global warming we need to halt the growth of our emissions immediately and begin reducing them within the decade. The peer-reviewed report, "Tackling Climate Change in the U.S.," is authored by scientists from the American Solar Energy Society, many of whom are employed by our nationís national research laboratories. It identifies the renewable energy resources available across the U.S. that can be used to transition away from the dirty, fossil fuel-based energy economy of yesterday toward the clean energy technologies that will fuel the economy of tomorrow. The report brings together detailed analyses of various smart energy solutions, including energy efficiency solar (both photovoltaic and concentrating), wind, biofuels, biomass, and geothermal.
"This roadmap gives us both a destination--60-80% emissions reductions by 2050--and a plan for how to get there using the best smart energy solutions like efficiency and renewables," said Dave Hamilton, Director of the Sierra Clubís Global Warming and Energy Program. "Dollar for dollar, these clean energy solutions are the best choices for America. There is no reason to invest tens of billions more in the outdated, environmentally and economically irresponsible technologies of yesterday like coal and nuclear when we can have efficient, clean energy at a reasonable cost. If we want to build a new energy economy based on clean energy and new, good-paying manufacturing jobs, this is the road to get there."
Key findings of the report:
· We can reduce carbon emissions by 1,100-1,200 million metric tons annually by 2030 with aggressive deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy alone;
· 82% of necessary reductions in carbon emissions can come from wind, solar, and increased energy efficiency. Biomass, biofuels, and geothermal could comprise the rest;
· This plan would achieve the U.S. share of reductions required to stabilize atmospheric CO2 levels at 450-500 parts per million and limit additional average temperature rise to 1°C above 2000 levels.
The report was unveiled at a Capitol Hill event featuring Rep. Henry Waxman, Chairman of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee; Sen. Jeff Bingaman, Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee; Rep. Christopher Shays; preeminent NASA climate scientist James Hansen; Carl Pope; Dr. Chuck Kutcher, ASES member, renewable energy researcher and editor of the report; and Brad Collins, ASES executive director.
Contact Josh Dorner for hard copies of the report and reproductions of the key maps and charts from the report, as featured at the news conference.
The full report can be downloaded at: www.ases.org/climatechange/