The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its “Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990–2010,” tracking national trends in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals over two decades. In that time, U.S. emissions increased at an average annual rate of 0.5 percent, for an overall increase of 10.5 percent.
The annual increase spiked to 3.2 percent from 2009 to 2010, largely due to increased economic activity across sectors and warmer summer weather creating demand for air conditioning. Carbon sequestration in forests, soil, and landfilled organic material offset 15.8 percent of total U.S. GHG emissions in 2010, but net emissions still reached 5,747 million metric tons CO2 equivalent.
Each year, the majority of emissions come from fossil fuel combustion for electricity generation and transportation (2,258 and 1,746 million metric tons, respectively, in 2010).
Copyright 2012 by BuildingGreen Inc.