Global Action Needed for CO2 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 85 Issue 41 | p. 34 | Concentrates
Issue Date: October 8, 2007

Global Action Needed for CO2

Department: Government & Policy | Collection: Climate Change
Credit: Courtesy of Jeff Bingaman
Credit: Courtesy of Jeff Bingaman

A recent EPA analysis finds that none of three bills presently before Congress to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. will make much difference without significant international action to cut the greenhouse gas. The bills (S. 1766, S. 280, and S. 485) would use different mechanisms, but they all call for 60-65% reductions in CO2 by 2050 from a base year of 2006 in one case and 1990 for the other two bills. However, according to EPA, even if one of the bills becomes law, global CO2 atmospheric concentration in 2095 would still be around 700 parts per million, only 25 ppm less than what would occur without controls. But if global actions were to be taken similar to those proposed for the U.S. in these bills, EPA says CO2 levels would be around 490 ppm by 2095, placing them below the widely accepted international target of 550 ppm. Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), who was among senators calling for the analysis, said: "EPA's comparison shows that inaction is the real danger with regards to climate policy. The U.S. needs to address the problem of global warming as soon as possible if we hope to reduce the growth of greenhouse gas emissions around the world."

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