There is compelling evidence that emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) are inducing climate change at a dangerous rate and, consequently, the "Kyoto Protocol" to the Framework Convention on Climate Change was agreed to in Dec. 1997. The Protocol requires the United States to cut its GHG emissions to 7 percent below the 1990 emissions level during the 2008-2012 time period. In contrast, U.S. GHG emissions are already up about 10 percent from 1990 levels and are projected to be 34 percent above 1990 levels by 2010 under business-as-usual policies and trends. Thus achieving our Kyoto target is a formidable challenge.
This presentation will describe and analyze about eight major energy efficiency and renewable energy policy initiatives that would enable the U.S. to meet its Kyoto target. The policies would stimulate widespread energy efficiency improvements in all sectors of the economy as well as greater reliance on renewable sources of electricity and fuels. I will present estimates of the potential carbon emissions reductions as well as costs and energy bill savings for each policy. I will also discuss the political prospects for the different policies.