US emissions dropped 1.7 percent in 2019, EPA says
U.S. greenhouse gas emissions dropped by 1.7 percent in 2019 compared with 2018, according to a new report released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday.
The Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks report, issued annually by the agency, said that the decrease was “largely driven” by decreased carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion.
This decrease was the result of both a 1 percent drop in total energy use and a shift away from coal and toward natural gas and renewables in the electricity sector.
In 2018, emissions increased by about 3 percent.
Wednesday’s report indicated that the transportation sector remained the country’s largest source of emissions, responsible for about 29 percent in 2019.
It was followed by the electricity sector, which was responsible for about 25 percent; the industrial sector, responsible for about 23 percent; commercial and residential emissions, responsible for about 13 percent; and agriculture, which was responsible for about 10 percent.
The 1.7 percent decrease in emissions also represented a 13 percent decrease compared with 2005 levels, the report said.
The Obama administration said that its goal would be for the U.S. to reduce its emissions by 26 to 28 percent compared with 2005 levels by the year 2025, and the Biden administration is slated to announce updated emissions reduction goals next week.
President Biden has said that he wants the U.S. to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and make its electric sector carbon-free by 2035 in order to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
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