What to do when cutting emissions alone is no longer enough

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Global emissions reach about 40 billion tons each year. Such a massive number can be hard to conceptualize, but chemical engineer Jennifer Wilcox offers some context: Approximately 10 billion of these come from the transportation sector alone.

“To remove or avoid a quarter of our annual emissions, pretty much every airplane flight, every automobile, all of that would have to stop altogether,” says Wilcox, a professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, and a visiting scholar at Penn’s Kleinman Center for Energy Policy. “No driving, no flying period.”
Such a dramatic change isn’t likely anytime soon. And generally speaking, Wilcox says no single solution will actually solve the climate crisis. “There’s no silver bullet,” she says.
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