Energy and Environment Reducing Carbon Emissions


Business Roundtable CEOs are leaders in a range of market-driven approaches to advancing a clean energy and lower-carbon economy transition. Corporations are switching to cleaner and renewable fuels, improving vehicle fuel efficiency, and investing in low-emitting vehicles, as well as break-through emission reduction technologies. Additionally, U.S. businesses are committing to long-term greenhouse gas reduction goals and deploying comprehensive strategies to optimize energy usage.  

Beginning in the early 1990s, U.S. GDP growth started to outstrip growth in carbon emissions. The decoupling of emissions and economic output has become even more pronounced since 2009: emissions are trending negative while GDP continues to expand.

In recent years, the boom in U.S. natural gas production has been a primary driver of emissions reductions – particularly in the electric utility sector. Additionally, this relatively recent abundance has given rise to additional research and development in technologies to utilize natural gas for transportation, integration with renewable generation, and industrial applications that will continue to contribute to further emission reductions throughout the economy.

Electricity generation from lower-emitting natural gas has more than doubled since 2000, contributing to a 25% decline in CO2 emissions from the electricity sector over the same period.

Each year, a larger share of electricity in the U.S. is generated by low- or no-emissions fuels. Natural gas now accounts for roughly one-third of net electricity generation, and non-emitting resources (including solar, wind, hydropower, biomass and nuclear) are up to 32%. 

In fact, U.S. businesses are going beyond operational targets and taking sustainable lifecycle approaches to green supply chains by engaging suppliers to optimize and reduce the carbon and environmental footprint of sourced materials, products, and services. 

Every sector of the U.S. economy has contributed to the decline in carbon emissions, with overall emissions down 18% since peaking in 2007.

Corporate research and investment in alternative and low-carbon fuels, such as advanced biofuels, is also enabling rapid market growth in technologies that help reduce emissions and improve efficiencies.  

Businesses have shown that environmental sustainability and U.S. economic growth can be achieved together. These collective contributions are resulting in emission reductions across all sectors of the economy, while companies are innovating toward a lower-carbon future.

Sustainability

For over a decade, Business Roundtable CEOs have been a leading voice for the business case for sustainability – demonstrating that environmental sustainability and U.S. economic growth can be achieved together. U.S. businesses are making a positive impact toward sustainable outcomes.

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