Soros-backed group: ‘Messy’ US green energy efforts yielding results
By Ben Geman - 04/15/13 11:08 AM ET
The patchwork of federal and state efforts to boost low-carbon energy might not be pretty, but it's yielding some results even as major climate legislation remains out of reach, a new analysis of global policies finds.
“This kind of interaction between states and the federal government is messy but useful; it has led to experimentation, expanded coverage, and increased ambition,” states the report from the Climate Policy Initiative, a group backed by liberal billionaire financier George Soros’s Open Society Foundations.
It takes stock of various green energy incentives and programs, such as federal tax incentives and state-based green energy standards, in a wider look at U.S. climate policy.
The U.S. is the world’s second-largest greenhouse gas emitter behind China, which raced past the U.S. roughly six years ago, but U.S. carbon emissions have been falling in recent years.
The report notes that this stems from the reduced demand during the recession, the growth of natural gas as a power source at coal’s expense, and various green energy programs. Looking forward, U.S. officials are also planning new Environmental Protection Agency regulations to curb emissions.
From the report:
Lack of U.S. legislative action on climate—while a continuing challenge—does not mean that the U.S. is not doing anything. The U.S. must strive to learn from its own varied experience with emissions-reducing policies, as well as those of other countries, as it builds toward a more coherent, effective climate policy regime—both upward from the state and local levels, and downward from the federal level.
The analysis of U.S. policy is part of the much broader report unveiled Monday that assesses climate policies in China, India, the U.S., Brazil and the European Union.