PG&E Climate Solutions

Climate Solutions Special Issue
A version of this article appears in the Climate Solutions Special Issue issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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January 01, 2008
In July 2007, Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) hosted the Affordable Comfort, Incorporated, (ACI) summit “Moving Existing Homes Toward Carbon Neutrality.” The summit brought together 99 motivated experts, mostly from the United States and Canada, to wrestle with the issues of achieving deep energy reductions in our housing stock. This two-day summit was the first bold step toward the important long-term goal of reducing total energy consumption of North American homes, individually and collectively, to a small fraction of what it is today. Achieving this will require nothing short of a paradigm shift in our approach to energy efficiency. In Germany—a country committed to the Kyoto Protocol—scientists and policymakers recognize that, based on Earth’s estimated carbon-carrying capacity of 10 billion tons per year and a global human population that will reach ten billion by 2050, we need to limit our carbon emissions to 1 ton per person per year. In Germany and Europe, current carbon emissions are about 10 tons per person per year, so bringing them down to a sustainable level requires a reduction by a factor of ten. In the United States, however, carbon emissions are now about 20 tons per person per year&...

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