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New Commerce Department Reports Lay Foundation for Measuring Green Economy, Carbon Dioxide Emissions


Wednesday, April 21, 2009



New Commerce Department Reports Lay Foundation for Measuring Green Economy, Carbon Dioxide Emissions

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Economics and Statistics Administration today released two new reports: one that defines and measures the size and scope of the green economy and another that looks at the ways in which the American economy's greenhouse gas emissions have changed over the past decade. Together, they provide valuable analytic tools needed to understand the emerging green economy, quantify greenhouse gas emissions and help inform future policy decisions.

“The Obama Administration's agenda for economic recovery depends in part on efforts to develop clean energy and energy-efficiency technology," Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. "These reports provide important insights and are a valuable foundation to measure our success as that agenda moves forward. These efforts could put millions of people to work in high-skill, high-wage jobs as opportunities to export green products and services expand and nations seek more energy sources.”

The first of the two reports, “Measuring the Green Economy,” provides an important initial step toward measuring the size and composition of the emerging green economy and the number of green jobs it has created. By using publicly-available data on more than 20,000 products and services, the report shows that the green economy is well-poised for growth. Principal findings of the report include:

* Shipments/receipts of green products and services comprise totaled between $371 billion to $516 billion in 2007.
* The number of green jobs ranged from about 1.8 million to 2.4 million.
* Green manufacturing jobs totaled between 200,000 and 240,000.
* Green services jobs were much higher, and totaled between 1.4 million and 1.8 million.
* Energy conservation, resource conservation and pollution control were the predominant green activities, accounting for about 80 to 90 percent of green shipments/receipts and employment.

The second report, “U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Intensities Over Time,” shows that, while significant work remains in curtailing greenhouse emissions, a large number of economic sectors have indeed become more energy and carbon dioxide (CO2) efficient—particularly the manufacturing sector. The report reveals that households are responsible for about 30 percent of energy-related CO2 emissions, more than any other sector. It also provides a comprehensive accounting of carbon dioxide emissions across every economic sector—industry, the government and households—from 1998 to 2006, and lays out a understanding of changes in greenhouse gas emissions, in both total and per dollar of output. The methodology in this report can be used going forward to track the impact of any future policy aimed at reducing emissions.

Specific findings from the second report:

* Manufacturing was responsible for one-quarter of total CO2 emissions in 2006, down 30 percent from 1998.
* Some sub-sectors and companies have become markedly more efficient in the amount of emissions produced; others have become less efficient.
* The household sector did not become more energy efficient. In 1997, manufacturing emitted more CO2 than any other sector. But by 2006, households were the largest CO2 emitting sector. During these years, while manufacturing was reducing its emission per dollar of output, CO2 emissions per household increased.
* The large number of households makes their cumulative effect a significant factor in total emissions. Heat and power in residential structures accounted for about two-thirds of total households emissions, whereas household transportation accounted for the remainder.

For a complete copy of both reports, go to:

Measuring Green Economy -

Emissions -