Existing power plants on path to pour 300 billion tons of carbon dioxide into atmosphere

August 30, 2014 9:09 am

Environmental Research Letters revealed that the desire to meet the world’s ever-growing energy demand means that global power sector commitments – the projected lifetime carbon emissions of currently working power plants – have not declined in a single year since 1950. These so-called committed emissions are growing at about 4% a year, according to the study, and in 2012 reached 307 billion tons of carbon dioxide, a new study from Princeton University and the University of California-Irvine published Aug. 26 .The world’s existing power plants are on track to pour more than 300 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and current monitoring standards often fail to take these long-term emissions into account, the new research by scientists at UC Irvine and Princeton University noted, The Saudi Gazette reported. The paper is the first to estimate the lifetime carbon emissions of power plants globally over multiple years. The study comes as the United States is attempting for the first time to regulate emissions from existing power plants, a proposal the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced several weeks ago and aims to finalize by next June.