Reduction in U.S. Carbon Emissions Attributed to Cheaper Natural Gas

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États-Unis : la réduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre de 2009 due au gaz naturel plutôt qu’à la récession

I,e centrale électrique au gaz naturel aux USA © David McNew/Getty Images/AFP

Lower emission from power plants in 2009 was driven by competitive pricing of natural gas versus coal, experts say.

In 2009, when the United States fell into economic recession, greenhouse gas emissions also fell, by 6.59 percent relative to 2008. In the power sector, however, the recession was not the main cause.

Researchers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have shown that the primary explanation for the reduction in CO2 emissions from power generation that year was that a decrease in the price of natural gas reduced the industry’s reliance on coal.


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