Despite constant criticism from environmental activists at home and across Europe claiming the U.S. government is doing nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, new evidence suggests America's efforts are more effective than those of Europe's. According to a scholar with the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), the U.S. has spent more on research and technologies to reduce climate change than any other country, and its business-led efforts are paying off.
"The U.S. is doing a far better job reigning in its emission than Europe, even though it has a faster-growing economy and population," said NCPA senior fellow H. Sterling Burnett. "Rather than signing treaties that look good on paper but do nothing to really bring about reductions, U.S. industry has taken the lead as a business matter, reducing emissions as a matter of efficiency – saving costs and improving the bottom line."
According to data from the United Nations:
- America's rate of growth in CO2 emissions from 2000 to 2004 was 8 percentage points lower than from 1995 to 2000.
- By comparison, the original 15 European Union nations saw an increase of 2.3 percentage points.
- From 2000 to 2004, EU-15 emissions grew at nearly double the U.S. rate.
- During the same time period, the U.S. economy grew by almost $1.9 trillion, the equivalent of adding Italy to the U.S. economy.
- Further, the U.S. population increased by 11.3 million people, adding more than the population of Greece.
"U.S. businesses are succeeding where European bureaucracy is failing," said Burnett. "Further, efforts like the Asian-Pacific partnership will do far more than Kyoto to have a lasting effect on greenhouse gas emissions."
The NCPA is a non-profit, non-partisan research institute with offices in Dallas and Washington, D.C., that advocates private solutions to public policy problems. For more information, visit www.ncpa.org.