Policy Options for Climate Change Mitigation

Download the paper.
by Amber Mahone, Regional Plan Association

By the year 2050, America's population is expected to grow by 40 percent, adding 120 million individuals. While this growth presents many economic and social opportunities for America as a nation, it also means higher energy demand and higher resource consumption. Current estimates show that under a business-as-usual scenario, without new policies to increase energy efficiency, energy consumption will increase faster than population growth. Per capita energy consumption is projected to increase by 0.3 percent per year until 2030.
Putting a price on carbon emissions, and taking other important steps to reduce America's consumption of foreign oil, will help the country improve its trade deficit and maintain a position of economic competitiveness, by leading in the development of low-carbon, high-efficiency technologies. Taking steps now to adapt to the impacts of climate change is also a smart investment, and will increase the nation's resilience in the face of rising sea levels, more intense storms, and hotter weather.

This paper is part of a series prepared by America 2050 for the Rockefeller Foundation Global Urban Summit in July 2007.