Environmental groups rate Democrats’ plans and records ahead of CNN’s town hall focusing on the climate crisis
Democrats will pit their climate plans against each other on Wednesday at a seven-hour CNN town hall, as world scientists warn the window is narrowing to prevent catastrophe.
With the planet already about 1C warmer than before industrialization, the United Nations’ climate panel says that keeping the increase to 1.5C would require “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”.
Carbon free means eliminating all C02 emissions from power plants, cars, industry and agriculture. Carbon neutral or “net-zero carbon” would allow some emissions to continue as long as there are offsets, such as the planting of trees that absorb heat-trapping gases.
Transportation produced 29% of greenhouse gas emissions, followed by electricity at 28%, industry at 22%, commercial and residential at 12% and agriculture at 9%, according to Environmental Protection Agency data from 2017.
Most of the energy the US uses comes from oil made into gasoline for vehicles. For electricity production, 35% is from natural gas, 27% is from coal, 19% is from nuclear and 17% is from renewable energy (hydropower, wind, biomass and solar), according to the Energy Information Administration.
China produces the most heat-trapping pollution, followed by the US. But historically, the US has contributed more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than any other nation. The US also has high emissions per capita, compared to other developed countries. And Americans buy products made in China, therefore supporting China’s carbon footprint.