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New Interactive Map Shows U.S. Population’s Energy Use Key to Dealing With Global Climate Change

December 15, 2009 • Daily Email Recap

Thanks to Vicky Markham for letting me know about the following new Interactive Map and companion report on “U.S. Population and Climate Change“, released by the Center for Environment and Population (CEP) and Clean Air-Cool Planet. The new interactive map can be viewed at: http://cepnet.org/map/map_intro.php, and the companion report at: http://www.cepnet.org/documents/USPopulationEnergyandClimateChangeReportCEP.pdf

CEP is also partnering with the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies to host a representative to report from the UNFCCC Copenhagen climate talks from Dec 7-18, 2009 on the subject of population and climate change linkages, mitigation and adaptation. You can view the daily blogs on how population is (or isn’t) being covered at www.cepnet.org and click on “Daily Blog From Copenhagen,” or at http://www.cepnet.org/documents/CEPBlogCopenhagen-Population12909.doc. Also see http://coolplanet.org/ and http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2009/12/10/copenhagen-is-population-missing-piece.

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For Release: December 2, 2009
Contact: Nicole Tidwell
(202) 326-8710, ntidwell@ccmc.org

New Interactive Map Shows U.S. Population’s Energy Use Key to Dealing With Global Climate

As the world’s nations meet in Copenhagen for talks next week on climate change, global pressure is rising on the United States as the world’s biggest energy consumer to take a corresponding lead role in curbing the “greenhouse gas” emissions that cause climate change.

A new interactive map released today on “U.S. Population and Climate Change” shows U.S. standings in population size, energy use and other factors that contribute to global climate change, broken down state-by-state. It is the first such map to couple U.S. population and climate change data to show their linkages.
With 5% of global population, the United States uses 25% of the world’s energy and produces five times the world per-capita average of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions (the primary “greenhouse gas” contributor to climate change). “The U.S. population’s disproportionate role has not gone unnoticed by nations scheduled to meet in Copenhagen,” said Vicky Markham, CEP Director. “Many leaders have said the United States must do more to curb its emissions if it expects other countries to do likewise.”

The new map, a companion to the “U.S. Population, Energy & Climate Change” report from the Center for Environment and Population (CEP), shows U.S. national, regional and state-by-state ranking on energy consumption, CO2 emissions, per-capita vehicle miles traveled, population numbers and growth rates, and housing units (more houses = more appliances = more energy use).

Within the global context, the new map demonstrates:

• The way that the large and fast-growing U.S. population combines with high rates of energy consumption and emissions to make America pivotal in the global climate change debate;

• America’s per-person link to global climate change is bigger than that of any other nation, so that individual behavior is critical; and

• The disproportionate U.S. contributions to world climate change which suggest it must take a stronger leadership role in responding to global warming.

Current trends indicate a real potential that there will be 1 billion high energy-consuming Americans by 2100.

“Meeting the demands of that many people for energy and resources while also trying to reduce carbon change emissions will be an enormous challenge,” said Bill Burtis of CACP. “Mapping where and how Americans use energy is a major step forward.”

State-by-state highlights in the new map include:

• Florida has the largest land area threatened by climate change-caused sea-level rise, is the fourth most populated state, and among the top ten in population growth;

• Wyoming is the least energy efficient state, has the highest per-capita CO2 emissions, electricity consumption, and vehicle miles traveled;

• Texas is the second most populated state and sixth fastest growing, with the highest CO2 emissions and second highest vehicle miles traveled per-capita;

• Washington state is first in renewable energy production and consumption per-capita, and the most “bicycle-friendly” of the 50 states;

• California is the most populated state, first in energy efficiency, with energy consumption, CO2 emissions, and electricity consumption per-capita among the nation’s lowest, but highest in vehicle miles traveled;

• New York City ranks first in “best mass transit”, with Chicago and Denver close behind, and Boston the most “pedestrianized” city.

The map is a product of the Center for Environment and Population (CEP) www.cepnet.org and Clean Air-Cool Planet (CACP) www.cleanair-coolplanet.org.

For a copy of the map and companion report on CEP’s website click here, on CACP’s website click here or contact:

– Nicole Tidwell, CCMC, email ntidwell@ccmc.org, telephone (202) 326-8710.
– Vicky Markham, CEP, email vmarkham@cepnet.org, telephone (203) 966-3425
– Bill Burtis, CACP, email bburtis@cleanair-coolplanet.org, telephone (603) 422-6464


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