Friday, July 31, 2009
According to the Environmental News Service, a report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy reports that energy efficiency investments can provide up to half of the 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions reductions the US committed to with the Group of Eight in July. The report concludes that investments in more energy-productive technologies can save consumers and businesses $ 2 trillion dollars by 2050. The report "Positive Economics of Climate Change Policies: What the Historical Evidence Can Tell Us," suggests that most studies that evaluate cap-and-trade policies either ignore or greatly understate the potential advances in energy efficiency, which the ACEEE calls "the largest and most cost-effective form of greenhouse gas mitigation." The focus of the report on green energy and energy efficiency as the ultimate mechanisms for cutting greenhouse gas emissions is healthy, but news accounts about the report appear to confuse policies designed to provide the incentives for energy efficiency (subsidies, cap and trade, tax credits, taxes, regulation), with the outcome of those incentives, which we hope will be reduced energy demand because of new products and processes that are more energy efficient and provision of our energy supply through green energy.