Energy Efficiency Solutions to the Climate Crisis that Our Policymakers Should Deliver On
“Energy efficiency represents an extraordinary and often underestimated opportunity to reduce carbon emissions while simultaneously stimulating economic activity and lowering consumer energy bills.”
That’s the central message of comments the Alliance submitted today to the U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. The committee had solicited stakeholder input in a broad request for information on policies, strategies, and innovations to achieve substantial and permanent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
Studies consistently find that energy efficiency is the fastest, cheapest, and most effective solution we have for mitigating climate change. The International Energy Agency estimates that efficiency alone can account for 44% of greenhouse gas emissions reductions needed to reach international climate goals. In the U.S., efficiency can get the country halfway to its climate goals.
Our comments show that energy efficiency is proven, but the potential gains ahead are even greater. Yet unfortunately, U.S. carbon emissions, energy intensity, and energy productivity are headed in the wrong direction, according to recent indicators. For instance, primary U.S. energy intensity – measuring economic output per energy consumed – worsened for the first time in more than 25 years.
To meet even modest climate and emissions reductions goals, we need to quickly reverse these trends and begin making significant gains in energy efficiency and productivity. In our comments, we propose a series of ways to seize this opportunity, including through infrastructure and transportation investments, tax incentives, public-private partnerships, research funding, and several other initiatives.
We know the tools that work – but our policymakers must deliver.