EIA Releases U.S. Data on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

by William Yeatman on January 7, 2003

in Blog

The U.S. experienced a significant decline in greenhouse gas emissions during 2001, according to data released by the Department of Energys Energy Information Administration. Emissions totaled 1,883 million metric tons carbon equivalent in 2001, a fall of 1.2 percent from 2000. This represents the largest percentage decrease in the U.S. during the 1990 to 2001 period. The average growth rate of emissions since 1990 has been 1 percent per year, and 2001s decline is the first since 1991, which saw emissions fall 0.6 percent.

EIA attributes the decline to a combination of factors:

  • A reduction in economic growth from 3.8 percent in 2000 to 0.3 percent in 2001.

  • A 4.4 percent reduction in manufacturing output that lowered industrial emissions.

  • Warmer winter weather that decreased demand for heating fuels.

  • A drop in electricity demand and coal-fired power generation.

Greenhouse gas emissions were still well above 1990 levels (11.9 percent), which is the baseline from which the U.S. would have to reduce its emissions by seven percent under the Kyoto Protocol. The report notes, however, that emissions rose more slowly in the 1990s than the average annual growth rate of the population (1.2 percent), primary energy consumption (1.2 percent), electric power generation (1.9 percent), or gross domestic product (2.9 percent).

Carbon dioxide, which accounts for 84 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, fell 1.1 percent to 1,579 million metric tons in 2001, according to EIA. The report is available at www.eia.doe.gov.

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