The US EPA released a new report finding that 42% of US GHG emissions are related to consumption — procurement, production, delivery and disposal of goods or services. The study is unusual in that it doesn’t break the emissions down into sectors such as transportation or electricity generation, rather tracing a wide variety of emissions from cradle to grave. The EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response suggests that the emissions could be cut significantly through better waste disposal, recycling and improved product design. Some emissions savings could be dramatic: doubling construction and demolition debris recycling could cut 150 million metric tons of CO2 emissions annually. (Source: New York Times, September 21, 2009)
Contact: Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, US Environmental Protection Agency, www.epa.gov/swerrims.