A Low-Carbon Blueprint


Scientists estimate that to avoid the worst consequences of climate change the United States must reduce its total emissions 80 percent by 2050. This is a massive undertaking that will require policy changes affecting the commercial, industrial, residential, and transportation sectors. Fortunately there is a clear path. A smart grid will vastly improve efficiency. Wind, geothermal, and solar will all play a role in cleaning up our electricity. Technology that exists today can bump cars up to 60 MPG and beyond. The blueprint is in front of us, we just have to follow it.

Dream of a Nation Partner
Independent Science, Practical Solutions
Union of Concerned ScientistsUCS stands out among nonprofit organizations as the reliable source for independent scientific analysis. Rigorous and objective research and analysis is essential to devise innovative and effective solutions for cleaner air, energy and transportation, safe and sustainable manner food, and to build a future free from the threats of global warming and nuclear war. Read more.


Read the Union of Concerned Scientists essay: "A Blueprint for a Clean Energy Economy"
Read the UCS essay

Endnotes & References


Climate Change, Energy & Action



What If?

Q. What if the United States generated just 20 percent of its electricity from wind power?

A. At 20 percent wind energy, the reliability of the grid does not drop at all. Electricity generated by burning natural gas would be reduced 50 percent, and electricity generated by coal would be reduced 18 percent. Additionally, around 500,000 jobs would be created.

Q.  What if the average car had a fuel efficiency of 60 miles per gallon? 

A.  Cars would cost around $3,000 more, but owners would save between $9,000 and $10,000 on gas over the cars lifetime, more than offsetting the extra cost and cutting U.S. carbon emissions from cars in half.