Energy & Environment

US greenhouse gas emissions fell 9 percent in 2020: analysis

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U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell by 9.2 percent last year amid the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report released Thursday. 

The emissions reduction puts the country at 20 percent below its 2005 level and in line with Paris Agreement goal for the year, said the report, conducted by BloombergNEF for the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE).

However, emissions are likely to rebound this year alongside economic recovery, the report noted. The World Meteorological Organization said late last year that it expects the year’s emissions decline to be a “tiny blip,” compared to the amount of greenhouse gases that have accumulated in the atmosphere over the years. 

In the year 2020, U.S. energy use dropped by 7.8 percent, according to the report. 

The drop represented the greatest year-over-year decline in at least three decades. 

The transportation sector saw the biggest drop in demand, at 14.4 percent, as people traveled less, the report said. 

It also noted that renewables made up a record contribution to the power grid last year, producing 11 percent more energy than the year before and making up a fifth of the country’s power.

The BCSE is a trade group representing natural gas, renewable energy and energy efficiency companies.

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