Throughout Europe, conservatives vie with liberals to claim the title of “most green,” and European Union rules require everything from energy-efficient building codes to disclosing a home's overall carbon output when it goes on the market.
Many Americans have adopted small eco-friendly measures, such as recycling and installing compact fluorescent light bulbs. A number of Washington area residents have made more significant lifestyle shifts, commuting by public transportation or bicycle and adopting high-efficiency or renewable-energy systems for their homes. But it remains unclear whether there is enough grass-roots support for a dramatic change in U.S. climate policy, especially during an economic crunch, considering that many environmental changes yield long-term, rather than immediate, financial benefits.
…the Swedes, who have made climate change a central pillar of both their domestic and foreign policy for more than a decade, are trying to speed things up. They’ve already done it in cities of their own such as Kalmar, where 12 Climate Pilots cut their average greenhouse-gas emissions by nearly a third in one year. The entire city aims to be fossil-fuel-free by 2030.