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Weekend edition February 16, 2024 | Tom Ballard

Baker School reveals results of first-ever Valley Pathways Study

The report quantifies carbon emission sources by economic sectors and evaluates actionable strategies for the region to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Baker School of Public Policy and Public Affairs presented the results of a landmark Valley Pathways Study earlier this week during the quarterly meeting of the Board of Directors for the Tennessee Valley Authority held in Johnson City.

The study is the first of its kind for the region – which includes parts of seven Southeast states. This study quantifies carbon emission sources by economic sectors and evaluates actionable strategies for the region to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Baker School will provide future updates as data is available.

“The data is clear, there is no one solution to achieve net-zero emissions, and we must address the root cause across all economic sectors – where we work together – in order to drive meaningful change,” said Dr. Charles Sims, who was also recently named as TVA’s Inaugural
Distinguished Professor of Energy and Environmental Policy. “Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is not just a case of electrifying everything and pushing the electricity sector to phase out all fossil fuels. Electricity still needs to strive toward net zero, but shifting all the responsibility
to TVA, will not achieve economy-wide net-zero and may make achieving those goals more costly than it needs to be.”

The study looked at carbon emissions and gathered data from 24 sources – including agricultural, transportation, industrial, residential – and used scenario-based analysis to compare various possible solutions to help determine the timing, scale, and effect of achieving carbon
reduction goals.

The report can be found here. There will also be a webinar to review the findings from 2 to 3 p.m. EST on February 29. To register, click on this link.


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