USA Today's Traci Watson includes a nice graphic showing reductions in CO2 emissions during the economic downturn. It's in this story, "Bad economy helps cut CO2 emissions". This trend follows and fits in line with a post a few weeks ago about landfills receiving less trash during the recession. I'll forgo duplicating my commentary here and say only to read the one at the landfill link.
But here are three stats Watson offers:
Carbon dioxide from U.S. power plants fell roughly 3% from 2007 to 2008, according to preliminary data from the Environmental Protection Agency analyzed by the Environmental Integrity Project. That's the biggest drop since 1995-1996, the first two consecutive years for which data are publicly available.
Carbon dioxide from industrial facilities in 27 European nations in 2008 plummeted 6%, according to Point Carbon's analysis of data published last week by the European Commission.
Electricity production by Chinese power plants has been lower every month since September compared with the same months a year earlier, says Richard Morse, a Stanford University energy researcher. A drop in power generation translates to a drop in carbon-dioxide output. These are the first such drops in Chinese power production since the Chinese economic boom in the 1990s.
The USA Today map gives percentage changes between 2007 and 2008. It shows Virginia, for example, down 10.1% on emissions. North Carolina and West Virginia, dear neighbors, not so much.