Hoping 2024 will be a good year for us economically and environmentally

Published 10:36 am Friday, January 5, 2024

To the Editor:
2023 easily became the hottest year on record, and climate pollution from burning fossil fuels also set a record in 2023, pushing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels up to an annual average of nearly 420 parts per million. However, we Carter Countians have many reasons for hope in the new year.
Despite all of that bad news, many countries are making progress towards reducing their climate pollution, and the outlook for 2024 is encouraging. America’s climate pollution fell by about 2-3% compared to the previous year and is now 18-19% below 2005 levels. Emissions in the European Union fared even better, declining by about 6-7% in 2023 as the member nations accelerated their clean energy deployments.
Progress on clean technology is expected to continue and ramp up even further in 2024 and beyond. Even China too is deploying solar panels and wind turbines at such a pace that they could begin to displace the country’s fossil fuel consumption and start a structural decline in Chinese carbon emissions in 2024.
When more people, businesses and government entities in our country use the opportunities in the Inflation Reduction Act for EV credits, clean electricity production and investment tax credits, forestry programs, consumer home energy rebates and electrification and efficiency training, we will all benefit from cleaner air, healthier lives and a more stable economy. Additionally, Clean Energy Permitting Reform will speed up the process of building the infrastructure for transmitting clean energy to all of us. For these reasons the people of Northeast Tennessee can look forward to fewer extreme weather events, less dependence on other countries for oil and more jobs that support the beautiful environment that we live in and love. Happy New Year!

Dr. Norma Morrison
Carter County

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