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Chapter Two: The State of the Environment - North America

Conclusion

Over the next 10 years, economic growth is expected to be steady, with a continued growth in resource consumption at least in proportion to population. If the commitments under the Kyoto Protocol are met, however, there would have to be greater efficiency in the use of energy and other resources, as well as significant fuel switching to cleaner and less carbon-intensive fuels such as natural gas (which contains less carbon per energy unit than other fuels).

The North American region is at a critical environmental cross-roads: important decisions have now to be made that will determine whether the region's economic activity and patterns of production and consumption will become more sustainable. These decisions will affect both regional and global environmental quality.


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