Challenges to Substantial and Sustained Reductions in Greenhouse Gases: Opportunities for the United States from the Bottom-Up

  • Stephen R. Connors
Conference paper


National leaders are calling for substantial reductions in anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from industrialized nations in order to avoid dramatic climate change. Doing so raises significant challenges in technology, policy and organizational realms, and at international, national, regional and local scales. While the current debate is focused on national and international policies to reduce greenhouse gases, such as cap-and-trade and R&D in low-carbon technologies, reduction targets on the order of 80% will also require significant parallel capacity building at local and regional scales. Cost-effective, rapid deployment of efficient and low carbon technologies requires both localization and the leveraging of economic and environmental co-benefits. This chapter outlines a three part strategy that builds upon an understanding of local energy resource and demand dynamics, essential to cost-effectively achieve climate and other sustainability goals.


Smart Grid Energy Conversion Efficiency Energy Service Renewable Electricity Energy Utilization Efficiency 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Berlinski M, Connors S (2006) Economic and Environmental Performance of Potential Northeast Offshore Wind Energy Resources. MIT-LFEE 2006-02 RP.
  2. Connors S, Kern E, Adams M, Martin K, Asiamah-Adjei B (2004a) National Assessment of Emissions Reduction of Photovoltaic (PV) Power Systems. MIT-LFEE 2004-003 RP.
  3. Connors S, Martin K, Adams M, Kern E (2004b) Future Electricity Supplies: Redefining Efficiency from a Systems Perspective. LFEE-WP-04-005 WP.
  4. EPRI-NRDC (2007) Environmental Assessment of Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles – Volume 1: Nationwide Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Electric Power Research Institute and the National Resources Defence Council.
  5. EC (2008) 20 20 by 2020 – Europe’s climate change opportunity Brussels, European Commission 23.1.2008 COM, 30 finalGoogle Scholar
  6. GeSI (2008) SMART 2020: Enabling the low carbon economy in the information age – United States Report Addendum. Global e-Sustainability Initiative and the Boston Consulting Group.
  7. Groode TA, Heywood JB (2008) Biomass to ethanol: potential production and environmental impacts. MIT-LFEE 2008-002 RP.
  8. McKinsey (2009) Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the U.S. Economy, McKinsey Global Energy and Materials.
  9. MIT (2007) The future of coal. MIT.
  10. Pew (2008) A look at emissions targets. Pew Center on Global Climate Change.
  11. USDOE (2006) National Electric Transmission Congestion Study, United States Department of Energy.
  12. WBCSD (2004) Mobility 2030: meeting the challenges to sustainability. World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
  13. WBCSD (2009) Energy Efficiency in Buildings: Transforming the Market. World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Copyright information

© Springer 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MIT Energy InitiativeMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

Personalised recommendations