U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions lowered in 2019: report

U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions lowered in 2019: report
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Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. fell 2.9 percent last year, according to a report published Tuesday. 

The International Energy Agency (IEA) found that the U.S. decline was the largest, at 140 million tonnes, of any country. It also noted that since 2000, U.S. emissions have decreased nearly one gigatonne.

"A 15% reduction in the use of coal for power generation underpinned the decline in overall US emissions in 2019," the report said. 

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Globally, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions flatlined at about 33 gigatonnes following two years of increases.

The IEA attributed that to fewer emissions from the power sector in advanced economies because of "the expanding role of renewable sources" as well as "fuel switching from coal to natural gas and higher nuclear power output."

In a statement, U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said that the report proved that "innovation and technology are the solution to the world’s climate challenges."

"While emissions in other regions rose, global emissions flattened and were offset by reductions in the United States and other nations that have successfully deployed carbon capture, renewable energy, natural gas and nuclear power," he said. 

Brouillette recently announced a $64 million initiative that he said was "going to help us produce more coal-based power more efficiently." The administration also recently announced $125.5 million in new funding to advance solar technology research.

Fatih Birol, the IEA's executive director, called the result that global energy had not increased "BIG NEWS" in a tweet. 

"Despite widespread expectations global energy-related CO2 emissions would post another annual increase in 2019, new @IEA data shows they were unchanged at 33 gigatonnes even as the world economy expanded by 2.9%," he wrote