Push energy efficiency, not cap-and-trade, says new report

A new report finds that many conventional climate economic impact studies that evaluate so-called cap-and-trade policies either ignore or greatly understate the potential advances in energy efficiency.

The evidence shows that productive investments in energy-efficient technologies can enable the U.S. economy to save money and to substantially reduce its greenhouse gas emissions - both immediately and by mid-century.

So says a new report from the nonprofit and independent American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). "In contrast to climate policies based on international offsets and banking, an efficiency-powered policy can provide a benefit to the climate while actually causing a small but net positive increase in the nation's economy and employment," said economist and climate policy expert James Barrett, Ph.D., among those who reviewed the study for ACEEE.

"The evidence is compelling," said author John A. "Skip" Laitner, Director of ACEEE's Economic and Social Analysis Program. "With advances in new materials, new designs, and the emerging contributions from information and communication technologies, energy productivity gains can power the economy in new ways that reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

"U.S. economic performance over the last several decades demonstrates that energy markets and consumer behaviors are much more dynamic than is commonly assumed," stated ACEEE Research Associate Chris P. Knight. "The past and the anticipated future gains in technology performance indicate that a productivity-led climate policy can actually make the U.S. economy more competitive."

You can access a free copy of the report here:

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