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The U.S. carbon dioxide emissions reduction over the past decade has been the largest cut in emissions in the history of energy, Dr. Fatih Birol, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), said at a press conference in Washington D.C. on Thursday.
“In the last 10 years, the emissions reduction in the United States has been the largest in the history of energy,” Birol said at a joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.
“Almost 800 million tons, and this is a huge decline of emissions,” the IEA’s executive director noted.
As per latest available IEA data, global energy-related CO2 emissions rose by 1.4 percent to reach a historic high in 2017, the first increase in emissions after three years of global emissions remaining flat. However, carbon emissions growth last year was not universal, with emissions in major advanced economies, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan, declining. The biggest decline in 2017 came from the United States, mainly because of higher deployment of renewables, according to the IEA.
The U.S. emissions reduction over the past decade has been chiefly due to natural gas-fired electricity capacity displacing coal-fired power plants thanks to the U.S. shale boom. Rising renewable energy deployment across the U.S. has also helped to cut carbon emissions.
“Like Dr. Birol has said many times, without carbon capture, any planned climate target is impossible to meet,” Secretary Perry said at the press conference.
“We believe that you can’t have a serious conversation about reducing emissions without including nuclear energy and carbon capture technology,” said Secretary Perry on the day on which he also announced the selection of eight projects to receive nearly US$24 million in federal funds for cost-shared research and development (R&D) for ‘Novel and Enabling Carbon Capture Transformational Technologies.’
The selected projects will focus on the development of technologies to address scientific challenges and knowledge gaps associated with reducing the cost of carbon capture, the Department of Energy said.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.