Assuming no significant changes in non-energy CO2 or other GHG emissions, sustaining last year’s 0.66% annual decline in energy-related CO2 for the next three years should be sufficient to achieve the US Copenhagen Accord target of a 17% reduction below 2005 levels by 2020. But this pace of decarbonization will still leave the US considerably short of it’s Paris Agreement pledge of a 26-28% reduction from 2005 levels by 2025, as highlighted in our annual Taking Stock report last May. A 1.7-2.0% average annual reduction in energy-related CO2 emissions is required over the next eight years to meet that target, assuming no changes in other gasses. To achieve long-term emissions reductions consistent with the 2-degree temperature target in the Paris Agreement, an even faster rate of decarbonization is required.
Long way to go, but good to see some hard numbers on progress.
Coal use in the United States is going to keep declining, replaced by a mix of natural gas and wind and solar. Eventually there will be declining progress here, though.
Declining carbon intensity in the power industry has had no impact on how energy is used by end users. Flip a switch and the light comes on. It may be an LED light rather than an incandescent, but it comes on same as it always did. The same isn't true of lower carbon intensity transportation. Plug-in hybrids come close, and I hope there are some good options for them when it comes time to replace my car. Maybe I'm overly pessimistic, but I don't see transportation or even personal transportation carbon emissions declining any time soon.