Torn co-authors study finding 80% reduction of emissions by 2050 "fully feasible"
A common refrain heard from boosters of the fossil fuel industry states that converting the US economy to run on renewables would be too costly and rely too heavily on unproven technologies.
Why risk tanking the nation's economy, they ask, when coal, oil, and natural gas have powered our vehicles and heated our homes for over 150 years?
It's a line of argument the green movement has struggled to counter, even as solar and wind prices plummet and nations such as Germany, Denmark, and even China have steeply ramped up their renewable energy production rates.
Help has arrived for clean energy advocates, however, in a new UN study that says the US can cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels, using existing technologies and with little or no consequence to the national economy, by 2050.
"All four scenarios we tested assumed economic growth," said co-author Margaret Torn of LBNL. "All of our scenarios deliver the energy services that strong economic growth demands."