Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

CGD in the News

Carbon Monitoring for Action v3.0 Media Summary

September 5, 2012

On Monday, August 27, CGD released an updated version of the Carbon Monitoring for Action (CARMA) database, which now includes information about the carbon emissions, location, electricity production, and corporate ownership of over 60,000 power plans in over 200 countries.

This release was covered by a number of news outlets, including Agence France Presse (AFP), Politico, and ClimateWire.



WASHINGTON — A surge in carbon emissions from power demand in the developing world is overwhelming progress by nations including China and the United States in improving efficiency, new research shows.

Seeking to cut costs, numerous nations in recent years have scaled back or revamped the dirtiest plants that use coal, which among major forms of energy is the highest emitter of carbon blamed for the planet's rising temperatures.

But a database set up by the Center for Global Development, a Washington think tank, found that the greater efficiency was far offset by emissions from electricity, which grew by 13.6 percent globally from 2004 to 2009.

Read the article.


WASHINGTON — The sea ice in the Arctic Ocean has melted to its smallest point ever in a milestone that may show that worst-case forecasts on climate change are coming true, US scientists said.

The extent of ice observed on Sunday broke a record set in 2007 and will likely melt further with several weeks of summer still to come, according to data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center and the NASA space agency.

The government-backed ice center, based at the University of Colorado at Boulder, said in a statement that the decline in summer Arctic sea ice "is considered a strong signal of long-term climate warming."

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House Republicans may not be leading a national discussion on climate change, but their congressional districts are leading the country in carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, according to just-released data from a global policy think tank.

Thirty of the top 40 carbon-dioxide-emitting districts from 2009 are red, according to the Center for Global Development’s newly updated online Carbon Monitoring for Action database.

More than half the districts — 22 — are represented by members who hold positions on House committees with environmental and climate change jurisdiction: Energy and Commerce, Science, Natural Resources and Transportation and Infrastructure.

Bold-face energy names from those districts include Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield of Kentucky; Rep. John Shimkus of Illinois; David McKinley and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia; and a strong Texas contingent including Joe Barton, Ralph Hall, Louie Gohmert, Pete Olson and Phil Gingrey.

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Climate Progress

Here’s a factoid that people following the politics of energy may find interesting, but certainly not shocking: Of the top 25 CO2 emitting Congressional districts in 2009, 22 were Republican. That’s according to data released by the Center for Global Development, which tracked emissions from 60,000 power plants in the U.S. and around the world.

The top five CO2 emitting districts were all Republican, with percentage of fossil-based electricity in those areas ranging between 91 percent and 100 percent.

Given this trend, it’s not surprising that the National Republican platform on energy is almost entirely about supporting more fossil fuels — particularly coal — while completely ignoring the threat of climate change.

Read the article.


While some growing powers like China and India invest billions to make their exploding energy sectors cleaner, other developing nations are climbing up the economic ladder with few or no plans for improving their coal sectors, a new study finds.

The trend is just one of dozens that appear in a sweeping new database of 60,000 power plants worldwide with emissions data going back to 2004.

The Carbon Monitoring for Action (CARMA) tool produced by the Center for Global Development, updated and released this week, shows that seven of the world's 10 dirtiest power plants are in Asia -- though none in China. On the other hand, China's state-owned power companies accounted for five of the top seven highest-emitting utility companies.

Though some countries and companies have invested in pollution control technologies over the decade, CARMA Project Manager Kevin Ummel said the global power sector trends are disheartening.

Read the article.