“[T]he impact that emissions reduction efforts in the U.S. will have on global emissions totals–and by extension, global climate–is quickly diminishing.”
The just-released numbers for last year’s carbon dioxide emissions (not including land-use changes) show why forcing large cuts in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is not very high on the priority list of the U.S. powers-that-be (including voters).
In 2010, the total global CO2 emissions were the highest on record, ~9.1 PgC (33,400 million metric tons). The U.S. contribution was ~1.50PgC, about 16% of the global total—percentage-wise the lowest on record (since 1959) and falling rapidly.
Unilateral U.S. CO2 mitigation strategies, in other words, are doomed to increasing irrelevance–and even unintended consequences should carbon rationing at home result in industrial transfers to less regulated areas.…