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Report: TN “Out Pollutes” 83 Developing Countries

December 12, 2007

Nashville, TN – The state of Tennessee generates more climate change pollution than the total emitted by 83 developing countries. Putting pollution in perspective, the new report from the National Environmental Trust calculates that Tennesseeans create more greenhouse gases than nations with a combined population of more than 500-million.

Report author Peter Altman says overall, the United States is the world's top source of climate change pollution, and should be taking greater responsibility to reduce its impact.

"It's because we have been the greatest contributors to the problem that we need to be the ones to start cleaning up the global warming mess."

Altman adds reducing greenhouse gas pollution should be viewed as a positive economic move.

"The idea that dealing with climate change will sink the economy is nonsense. There are so many opportunities that get created when a massive new investment of this scale has to take place."

The report suggests new policies and laws that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including setting standards for renewable energy generation. Several states already have adopted the standards, but not Tennessee. Critics argue that additional regulation could hurt businesses; and there are still some Tennesseans who are not convinced that climate change is even happening.

The full NET report, called "Taking Responsibility," is available online, at

Deborah Smith/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - TN