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Energy Conservation - International Comparisons Of Conservation Efforts

countries carbon united industrialized

Compared to other industrialized countries, the United States is lagging behind in energy efficiency and conservation efforts. According to the Energy Information Administration's International Energy Annual 2002 (2004) figures for energy consumption per dollar of GDP in 2002, the United States consumed 10,575 Btu per dollar of GDP compared to 5,998 for France, 5,269 for Germany, and 3,876 for Japan. This means that these other countries are consuming less energy per dollar of the output of goods and services; they have lower energy intensities. Put simply, they are making products more efficiently. If fuel prices increase in the future, the United States may face economic challenges from more efficient countries.

As the world's largest producer of greenhouse gases, U.S. per capita emissions are also significantly higher than in other industrialized countries. For instance, the International Energy Annual 2002 compared countries regarding the metric tons of carbon dioxide they produce per thousand dollars (in 1995 U.S. dollars) of GDP; this figure is termed the carbon intensity of the country. The figures for 2002 showed that the carbon intensity for the United States was substantially higher than for most other industrialized nations. For example, the carbon intensity for the U.S. was 0.62, while it was 0.31 for Germany, 0.22 for France, and 0.21 for Japan.

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