Thursday, October 23, 2008

Arkansas' First Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report Released

The Center for Climate Strategies has released the first report on greenhouse gas emissions in the State of Arkansas. The study was commissioned by the Arkansas Governor's Commission on Global Warming and is based upon 2005 data. Among the findings of the report:

  • 58% of emissions come from two sources: (1) electricity consumption from coal-fired power plants and (2) everyday transportation using cars and trucks.

  • Arkansas forests act as a carbon sink, absorbing more greenhouse gases than they emit.

  • the state accounts for 1.2% of national emissions.

  • emissions increased 30% from 1990-2005 compared with a 16% increase nationwide during the same time period.

  • residents emit about 31 metric tons compared to 24 metric tons per-capita nationwide; or 29% more.

The Arkansas Governor's Commission on Global Warming has developed the following recommendations:

  • a statewide reduction of 20 percent below 2000 levels by the year 2020, 35 percent by 2025, and 50 percent by 2035.

  • an investment of about $3.7 billion over 17 years to put these measures in place.

  • establish an Arkansas Climate Change Center.

  • adopt nuclear power as a cleaner alternative to coal-fired power plants.

  • ban new coal-fired power plants until "sequestration" technology is available.

  • require electric companies to supply a percentage of their electricity from renewable energy sources.

  • reduce current demand for electricity use through adoption of energy-efficiency practices.

  • a sales tax exemption for purchase of energy-efficient products.

  • expand biomass conversions.

  • forestry management to preserve as many trees as possible.

  • tax incentives and financing for renewable energy systems and net metering.

  • energy audits, weatherization, and other energy-efficiency programs for low-income residents.

  • rebates for purchase of fuel-efficient vehicles.

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