Regions' GDP equivalent to globe's second largest economy
Even though the United States does not participate in the Kyoto protocol, about one-quarter of the population lives in states, counties or cities that have adopted climate change policies similar to those of the global initiative, according to a Brief Communication published in the November 17 issue of Nature.
Including regions classified as 'probable' and 'possible' adopters, which have pledged to reduce emissions, more than one-third of the U.S. population lives in such areas, say co-authors Brendan Fisher and Robert Costanza of the University of Vermont.
Together, these regions contribute up to half of the US gross domestic product, equivalent of 16.9% of global GDP, a slightly larger share than Japan, the world's second largest economy.
Although the numbers look promising, Fisher and Costanza caution that "compliance will be a challenge even for current adopters, who have on average increased their carbon dioxide emissions by 14% since 1990." There are no mechanisms to enforce such initiatives, they add.
However, the local nature of these initiatives could make it possible to develop adaptable, site-specific plans for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.
The United States produces 24% of worldwide greenhouse-gas emissions.
Source: Eurekalert & othersLast reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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