"... Last year, CO2 emissions in the US fell to an 18-year low, the lowest level since 1994, and C02 emissions from coal fell to a 26-year low, the lowest since 1986. Further, as the WSJ reported this week (“Rise in U.S. Gas Production Fuels Unexpected Plunge in Emissions“) the US now leads the world in reducing CO2 emissions thanks to the shale revolution. At the same time that America is using less coal and more shale gas and reducing C02 emissions, Europe and Asia are becoming more coal-dependent for electricity generation, and increasing C02 emissions.
Compared to the last time that CO2 emissions were at 2012′s levels — back in 1994 — real GDP in 2012 was 55% higher and the US population was 17.5% larger, making the drop in greenhouse gas emissions to an 18-year low in 2012 even more impressive. Adjusted for the population, CO2 emissions per capita last year were the lowest since 1964, almost 50 years ago (see chart above, data here and here). According to Department of Energy forecasts, the decline in per capita CO2 emissions is expected to continue so consistently that within about 20 years, greenhouse gas emissions per person in the US will be below the level in 1949! ..."