Slight Decline in Recent Years but Overall U.S. Emissions Up Since 1990

EPA is seeking public comment on its Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks draft report, which shows U.S. emissions grew by 13.6 percent from 1990-2008.

The inventory tracks, at the national level, annual greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 to 2008. The gases covered include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride. The inventory also calculates carbon dioxide emissions that are removed from the atmosphere by “sinks” (such as forests, vegetation, and soils that take in carbon dioxide).

The draft shows that in 2008, overall greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 2.9 percent, which EPA attributes to a decrease in carbon dioxide emissions associated with fuel and electricity consumption. However, overall, emissions grew by 13.6 percent from 1990 to 2008. Total emissions from GHGs were about 6,946 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

After responding to public comments, the U.S. government will submit the final inventory report to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

For more information on the draft report and how to submit public comments, go here.

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