Though the US is moving away from coal and towards natural gas — and despite Obama’s dedication to curbing coal-fired power plants’ emissions and bettering fuel economies — the US still exports coal to other areas in the world, and these exports aren’t likely to cease. In continuing to export coal, the US is transferring its potential greenhouse gas emissions to other countries.
Many of the US’s exports are being transported to countries with lenient regulations on emissions, countries that make no effort to lessen the effects of climate change. Almost nine percent of global coal exports are produced by the US.
The US continues to turn a blind eye to the potential for increasing the world’s GHG emissions because of business, jobs, and money that domestic coal supplies; if the US doesn’t provide the coal, then surely another country would step up and take our place.
The biggest emitter of GHG, China is working towards lowering the country’s coal use. However, Germany is undergoing a coal-revival and importing coal from the US. Germany’s carbon dioxide emissions grew by 1.2 percent in 2013. Worldwide coal use grew more quickly than all other fossil fuels in 2013, by three percent.
Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Tara Mahadevan
July 31, 2014
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