Solutions to Global Warming in North America
Solutions to global warming in North America include reducing coal emissions, increasing the use of energy efficiency and renewable energy, greening transportation, and helping developing countries reduce deforestation.
The North American region includes the United States and Canada, which rank number two and seven, in CO2 emissions globally (using 2008 data). The United States and Canada also have very high per capita emissions.
The Sources of U.S. Heat-Trapping Emissions in 2008
The United States. The United States is often noted as the being the most significant contributor to historical emissions of global warming pollution. Most of these emissions occur when power plants burn coal or natural gas and when vehicles burn gasoline or diesel.
The National Academy of Sciences released a series of reports (2010) emphasizing the urgency of climate change and why the U.S. should act now to reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases. "The longer the nation waits to begin reducing emissions, the harder and more expensive it will likely be to reach any given emissions target."
Analysis performed by the Union of Concerned Scientists has demonstrated that the U.S. can dramatically reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and nearly phase-out coal by 2030 while saving consumers and businesses money by investing primarily in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
There are concrete actions that citizens, businesses and policymakers can take to reduce global warming emissions. Experience has shown that government policies are critical to spurring and enabling global warming solutions and that individual actions alone will not solve the problem. While comprehensive climate and energy legislation has thus far failed to pass the United States Congress, there are a series of vital programs and strategies underway in the United States to reduce global warming emissions, such as:
- elevating energy efficiency;
- promoting renewable energy;/li>
- reducing coal emissions;
- greening transportation; and
- providing assistance to developing countries to reduce deforestation and switch to clean energy technologies.