2018-11-08 14:16:10 UTC
"The findings of this study indicate that future levels of immigration
will have a significant impact on efforts to reduce global CO2
emissions. Immigration to the United States significantly increases
world-wide CO2 emissions because it transfers population from
lower-polluting parts of the world to the United States, which is a
higher-polluting country. On average immigrants increase their
emissions four-fold by coming to America.
Among the findings:
The estimated CO2 emissions of the average immigrant (legal or
illegal) in the United States are 18 percent less than those of the
average native-born American.
However, immigrants in the United States produce an estimated four
times more CO2 in the United States as they would have in their
countries of origin.
U.S. immigrants produce an estimated 637 million metric tons of
CO2 emissions annually equal to Great Britain and Sweden combined.
The estimated 637 tons of CO2 U.S. immigrants produce annually is
482 million tons more than they would have produced had they remained
in their home countries.
If the 482 million ton increase in global CO2 emissions caused by
immigration to the United States were a separate country, it would
rank 10th in the world in emissions.
The impact of immigration to the United States on global emissions
is equal to approximately 5 percent of the increase in annual
world-wide CO2 emissions since 1980.
Of the CO2 emissions caused by immigrants, 83 percent is estimated
to come from legal immigrants and 17 percent from illegal immigrants.
Legal immigrants have a much larger impact because they have
higher incomes and resulting emissions, and they are more numerous
than illegal immigrants.
The above figures do not include the impact of children born to
immigrants in the United States. If they were included, the impact
would be much higher.
Assuming no change in U.S. immigration policy, 30 million new
legal and illegal immigrants are expected to settle in the United
States in the next 20 years.
In recent years, increases in U.S. CO2 emissions have been driven
entirely by population increases as per capita emissions have
The small body of research on immigrations environmental impact in
the United States has tended to focus on the effects of the population
growth induced by immigrants and their U.S.-born offspring on the U.S.
environment alone.1 In contrast, the present study attempts to
quantify the direct contribution of immigrants in the United States to
growing U.S. and global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Since American
emissions per capita are much higher than almost all of the
immigrant-sending countries, immigration to the United States has
significant implications for world-wide emissions.
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the most important of which is CO2 ,
raise the concentration of these gases in the earths atmosphere. Most
scientists think this increase is causing average global temperatures
to rise. There is concern that warming in turn may trigger
far-reaching, long-term effects on the Earths climate and biosphere,
and consequently, on human civilization.2 Thus, the impact of U.S.
immigration on annual CO2 emissions is an important research question.
. . ."
"Efficiency in the use of all resources
would have to increase by more than 50
percent over the next four or five decades
just to keep pace with population growth."
- President Clintons Council on