Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

Climate & Energy

Economic action to stop global warming


Matching the Scale of the Problem
Examining the Princeton University
Carbon Mitigation Emissions Reductions Plan

The EarthThe climate change proglem is so huge and immediate that it may be difficult to imagine a set of solutions that can effectively match the scale of the problem.

Princeton University's Carbon Mitigation Initiative (CMI) gives us a good starting point. CMI scientists have been effective at thinking big and naming the scale of actions necessary across the global economy to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.

Baby steps and half-measures won't do, and the CMI shows just how much we need to do to avoid environmental catastrophe. For example, CMI recommendations call for a 700-fold increase in the use of solar energy -- something communities can't accomplish with just a few solar panels.

The CMI also sets a timeline -- these large-scale actions need to succeed over the next 50 years, with the next ten yars the make-or-break period for getting started

The CMI Approach and Green America's Endorsements
The CMI has proposed 15 strategies -- all using available technology -- for reducing carbon dioxide emissions by one billion tons per year by 2054. To avoid the worst effects of climate change, the CMI calls for implementing no fewer than seven of the strategies, for a total reduction of 7 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year.

It's important to note that the CMI includes recommendations on its list that are problematic for social or environmental reasons. For example, while the CMI approach gives us 15 reduction strategies, of which we must select seven, Green America's plan eliminates three problematic strategies -- expanded nuclear pwoer, synfuels, and coal use. However, we believe that increased solar and wind power can be more effective than the CMI plan suggests, and that together they could eliminate 3 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year (effecitvely adding an additional "billion tons per yer" strategy to the CMI list).

The strategies that Green America does not endorse are either too dangerous, too expensive, or too slow. Scaling up wind, solar, and energy effeiciency now is more prudent and practical. Not only can these clean, zero-emissions technologies do the job, they are safer, more cost-efffective, and provide significantly more jobs. The Green America-endorsed strategies add up to a reduction of 13 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year -- a plan that is safe, clean, cost-effective, and more than big enough to meet the climate problem. Let's start today.


See Green America's plan, complete with explanations of each CMI strategy, followed by Green America's reasons for endorsing or rejecting each strategy.

Learn more about the CMI plan by visiting the Carbon Mitigation Initiative Web site.