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Study: Effective Policies Cause Carbon Emission to Plummet in 18 Countries

A newly published study in the journal Nature Climate Change suggests that countries that favor renewable energy and diverge from fossil fuels make noticeable progress in reducing CO2 emissions.

Analyzing carbon emissions by country, the study found that, although globally CO2 was on the rise at 2.2% per year, 18 countries saw a considerable drop.

The countries that the study gave a green badge are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain Sweden, UK, and the USA.

While this might seem like common-sense — the stricter the policies, the lower the emissions, CBC reported that there are other factors that impact emissions and energy output. 

“We went in these 18 countries and looked at what policies they had in place … and we found that, in the countries where there's more policy in place, the decreases in emissions were larger," said Corinne Le Quéré, a Canadian professor of climate change science at the University of East Anglia in the U.K. "That suggests that the policies do work.”

However, it was evident that many of these countries also use less energy overall, by having more efficient heating systems, home insulation, or more electric cars.

This study proves that cutting on carbon emissions is not a mystery. If we have the technology, we are ready to make the effort, develop the policies, and fund them then we get decreased emissions. 



Nikola uses his background in electrical engineering to break down complex sustainability topics for GreenCitizen's readers. He is a firm believer in environmental conservation, which he practices daily through recycling and home-grown food. He enjoys hiking, engaging in white-water sports, and collecting pocket knives.

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