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#agencies #regulatory #terminology


Doug Fogelson

In the United States and the European Union, there are two similar agencies that work to define current environmental issues and address them through regulations, programs, and partnerships, while also providing relevant resources and education to the public. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the USA and the European Environment Agency (EEA) in the EU differ in that the EEA has 38 different independent countries, including the “cooperating countries” (minus the UK recently with “Brexit”), to correlate data from, while the USA is a single country despite its range of the 50 states.

EPA and EEA each have websites with infographics including charts, graphs, and maps. These two geographies are two of the three largest emitters, with the third being China. On a per capita rate, the largest emitters are the USA and Russia. China, however, is currently the country with the highest overall greenhouse gas emissions of any country in the world as they are primarily powered by coal. Combined together, China, the EU members, and the USA contribute 41.5% of total global emissions (WRI.org 2020). Other metrics of large-scale emissions in descending order include: Germany, UK, Japan, India, France, Canada, Ukraine, Poland, Italy, South Africa, Mexico, and Iran.

The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations effort to assess and report on the facts of climate change. They publish their detailed findings, which include the variety of risks and options to mitigate GHG emissions. The current 2022 report is the sixth such assessment consisting of three working groups: the physical science, the impacts/adaptations/vulnerabilities, and mitigation.

  • Action
  • Definition
  • According to the EPA, one way to reduce your emissions is to reduce your number of trips by grouping your errands.

    True Correct. Sounds quite practical! False Incorrect. A little planning goes a long way (to make it a shorter route).