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The Great Recession or progressive energy policies? Explaining the decline in US greenhouse gas emissions forecasts

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This paper evaluates the causes of the 23% decline in 2030 US greenhouse gas emissions forecasts between 2007 and 2011. Dynamic regression modeling predicts that the Great Recession contributed to about 67% of the 2008–2009 emissions decline, but then fell to about an 18% share for the 2030 emissions forecast. An analysis of electricity generation forecasts show that switching from coal to gas contributed only 6% to the total 2030 decline. In contrast, regulatory impact assessments and policy analysis showed that state and federal policies were responsible for 46% of the 2030 decline in emissions.
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Keywords: United States; economic growth; energy forecasting; greenhouse gas emissions; regulatory impact analysis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Division of Politics and Economics, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA, USA 2: The Center for Climate Strategies, Washington, DC, USA

Publication date: March 3, 2016

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