Recent US data indicate a clear and progressive decoupling of carbon emissions and energy intensity from economic growth. This is primarily a consequence of state and national environmental and energy policy actions, and secondarily a result of shifts in economic structure and increases in natural gas supplies. To assess future opportunities of proactive approaches to policy and investment, we analyze 20 sector-based actions at the national and subnational levels in the US that can narrow remaining national carbon emissions gaps by 2020 and beyond, while improving economic and energy efficiency in every sector. These actions are found to provide favorable returns on investment for job creation, energy and cost savings, and multiple measures of energy security. Selection and design of these new actions are based on evaluation of hundreds of policy options derived from facilitated, stakeholder and consensus-based development of comprehensive climate action planning in 20 states. They represent top issues of focus for policymakers, and serve as key drivers for new investment, collaboration, and governance approaches that are needed to integrate economic, energy, and environmental security in the US. This same general approach to planning and analysis is of value to other nations seeking similar benefits. Techniques for comprehensive, multi-objective, fully integrated, and collaborative systems of planning and analysis are important as a means for comprehensive security solutions. This also requires leadership at all levels of government, and a broadened view of national security.
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