Which States Have the Least Carbon Intensive Economies?

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World leaders convened in Glasgow this November for the 2021 United Nations Local weather Change Convention.

Going through the intensification of worldwide local weather change, the negotiators reached an settlement that explicitly commits to decreasing using coal, limiting different greenhouse fuel emissions, and offering help to creating international locations most impacted by local weather change.

The Glasgow convention mirrored heightened urgency round local weather change as the consequences of carbon emissions have accelerated and turn out to be extra extreme in recent times.

A 2021 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Local weather Change discovered that with out speedy reductions in greenhouse fuel emissions, warming above 1.5°C is sort of inevitable. This degree of warming would have disastrous results within the type of sea-level rise, extra extreme climate occasions, and hurt to agricultural methods and human well being.

Whereas there’s nonetheless a lot work to do, the excellent news for the U.S. is that many states — and the nation as a complete — have begun to reverse the expansion in carbon emissions. Authorities coverage to restrict emissions and developments in lower-emission applied sciences throughout the financial system have helped flip the traits in the correct course.

Electric power emission decline

A lot of this progress has taken place during the last fifteen years. Complete CO2 emissions peaked in 2007 at over 6 billion metric tons, however that determine fell to round 4.6 billion metric tons in 2020.

One of many massive contributors has been decarbonization in electrical energy era by the decline of heavy-emitting coal and the rise of fresh power sources like wind and photo voltaic. Over the past decade, these elements have lowered CO2 emissions related to electrical energy era by round 36%.

This pattern additionally contributes to emissions reductions in the principle “end-use” sectors — transportation, industrial, residential, and industrial — that devour electrical energy. Residential and industrial sectors have seen the sharpest declines, with emissions dropping by greater than 1 / 4 since 2010 throughout each sectors mixed.

CO2 emission decline

It’s promising that these declines have taken place whereas the U.S. inhabitants and financial system have continued to develop. From 1970 to the mid-2000s, carbon emissions and GDP grew collectively, with the tempo of GDP development exceeding that of carbon emissions.

Extra not too long ago, the regular upward trajectory of GDP has continued whereas carbon emissions have ticked downward. Since 2007, whole energy-related CO2 emissions are down by 23.9% whereas actual GDP has elevated by 17.7% in the identical span.

These traits assist alleviate considerations that decreasing carbon emissions essentially means limiting financial productiveness, and plenty of U.S. states are proving that financial development in a much less carbon-intensive financial system is feasible.


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The information used on this evaluation is from the U.S. Vitality Info Administration and the U.S. Census Bureau. To find out the states with the least carbon-intensive economies, researchers at Commodity.com calculated whole CO2 emissions per GDP.

States with a decrease worth had been ranked increased. Within the occasion of a tie, the state with decrease per capita CO2 emissions was ranked increased.

Listed below are the states with the least carbon-intensive economies.

U.S. States With the Least Carbon-Intensive Economies

maine
Photograph Credit score: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

15. Maine

  • CO2 emissions per GDP (tons per $ million): 254.9
  • CO2 emissions per capita: 11.0
  • Complete CO2 emissions (tons): 14,800,000
  • Largest supply of CO2 emissions: Petroleum
  • Inhabitants: 1,350,141
Illinois
Photograph Credit score: Randall Runtsch / Shutterstock

14. Illinois

  • CO2 emissions per GDP (tons per $ million): 253.0
  • CO2 emissions per capita: 16.7
  • Complete CO2 emissions (tons): 212,200,000
  • Largest supply of CO2 emissions: Petroleum
  • Inhabitants: 12,587,530

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Arizona
Photograph Credit score: Gregory E. Clifford / Shutterstock

13. Arizona

  • CO2 emissions per GDP (tons per $ million): 252.1
  • CO2 emissions per capita: 13.1
  • Complete CO2 emissions (tons): 93,900,000
  • Largest supply of CO2 emissions: Petroleum
  • Inhabitants: 7,421,401
Hawaii
Photograph Credit score: Marvin Minder / Shutterstock

12. Hawaii

  • CO2 emissions per GDP (tons per $ million): 249.7
  • CO2 emissions per capita: 14.4
  • Complete CO2 emissions (tons): 20,500,000
  • Largest supply of CO2 emissions: Petroleum
  • Inhabitants: 1,407,006
Rhode Island
Photograph Credit score: Richard Cavalleri / Shutterstock

11. Rhode Island

  • CO2 emissions per GDP (tons per $ million): 206.5
  • CO2 emissions per capita: 10.5
  • Complete CO2 emissions (tons): 11,100,000
  • Largest supply of CO2 emissions: Petroleum, Pure Gasoline
  • Inhabitants: 1,057,125

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Maryland
Photograph Credit score: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

10. Maryland

  • CO2 emissions per GDP (tons per $ million): 200.3
  • CO2 emissions per capita: 10.2
  • Complete CO2 emissions (tons): 61,700,000
  • Largest supply of CO2 emissions: Petroleum
  • Inhabitants: 6,055,802
New Jersey
Photograph Credit score: Henryk Sadura / Shutterstock

9. New Jersey

  • CO2 emissions per GDP (tons per $ million): 198.0
  • CO2 emissions per capita: 11.9
  • Complete CO2 emissions (tons): 105,400,000
  • Largest supply of CO2 emissions: Petroleum
  • Inhabitants: 8,882,371
Oregon
Photograph Credit score: steve estvanik / Shutterstock

8. Oregon

  • CO2 emissions per GDP (tons per $ million): 164.5
  • CO2 emissions per capita: 9.5
  • Complete CO2 emissions (tons): 39,900,000
  • Largest supply of CO2 emissions: Petroleum
  • Inhabitants: 4,241,507
Vermont
Photograph Credit score: haveseen / Shutterstock

7. Vermont

  • CO2 emissions per GDP (tons per $ million): 163.9
  • CO2 emissions per capita: 9.4
  • Complete CO2 emissions (tons): 5,900,000
  • Largest supply of CO2 emissions: Petroleum
  • Inhabitants: 623,347
new Hampshire
Photograph Credit score: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

6. New Hampshire

  • CO2 emissions per GDP (tons per $ million): 158.9
  • CO2 emissions per capita: 10.5
  • Complete CO2 emissions (tons): 14,300,000
  • Largest supply of CO2 emissions: Petroleum
  • Inhabitants: 1,366,275
Massachussets
Photograph Credit score: Christian Delbert / Shutterstock

5. Massachusetts

  • CO2 emissions per GDP (tons per $ million): 158.1
  • CO2 emissions per capita: 9.4
  • Complete CO2 emissions (tons): 64,600,000
  • Largest supply of CO2 emissions: Petroleum
  • Inhabitants: 6,893,574
California
Photograph Credit score: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

4. California

  • CO2 emissions per GDP (tons per $ million): 148.0
  • CO2 emissions per capita: 9.0
  • Complete CO2 emissions (tons): 356,600,000
  • Largest supply of CO2 emissions: Petroleum
  • Inhabitants: 39,368,078

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Connecticut
Photograph Credit score: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

3. Connecticut

  • CO2 emissions per GDP (tons per $ million): 136.8
  • CO2 emissions per capita: 10.5
  • Complete CO2 emissions (tons): 37,600,000
  • Largest supply of CO2 emissions: Petroleum
  • Inhabitants: 3,557,006

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Washington
Photograph Credit score: Jeremy Janus / Shutterstock

2. Washington

  • CO2 emissions per GDP (tons per $ million): 135.9
  • CO2 emissions per capita: 10.2
  • Complete CO2 emissions (tons): 77,000,000
  • Largest supply of CO2 emissions: Petroleum
  • Inhabitants: 7,693,612
new york
Photograph Credit score: Lukas Uher / Shutterstock

1. New York

  • CO2 emissions per GDP (tons per $ million): 123.6
  • CO2 emissions per capita: 9.0
  • Complete CO2 emissions (tons): 175,900,000
  • Largest supply of CO2 emissions: Petroleum
  • Inhabitants: 19,336,776

Detailed Findings & Methodology

The information used on this evaluation is from the U.S. Vitality Info Administration’s Setting Dataset and the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Group Survey.

To find out the states with the least carbon-intensive economies, researchers calculated CO2 emissions per GDP, in tons per million {dollars}.

States with a decrease worth had been ranked increased. Within the occasion of a tie, the state with the decrease per capita CO2 emissions was ranked increased. State-level emissions knowledge is from 2018, the latest accessible.