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EPA’s Annual Report Shows Increase in US Greenhouse Gas Emissions Amid Economic Recovery

EPA’s Annual Report Shows Increase in US Greenhouse Gas Emissions Amid Economic Recovery

Greenhouse Gas Emissions
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its latest annual Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks (GHG Inventory), which presents a national-level overview of annual greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 to 2022. Net U.S. greenhouse gas emissions were 5,489 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2022, a 1.3% increase in emissions from 2021. The increase is largely due to higher energy use in 2022, reflecting the continued rebound in economic activity following the height of the coronavirus pandemic. However, emissions have declined 17% overall since 2005, which reflects the combined impacts of several factors, including energy market trends, technological changes including energy efficiency improvements, and the carbon intensity of energy fuel choices.

Through a rigorous development and review process, EPA annually refines and strengthens our greenhouse gas inventory, producing a comprehensive tally of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and sinks,” said Joseph Goffman, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation. “Reflecting input from hundreds of experts across the government, academia, industry, and consulting, the GHG Inventory report is a model for high-quality and transparent national GHG accounting.”  

For this latest release, EPA has made several important improvements, including updates to estimates for oil and gas and incorporation of long-term research into methods for estimating emissions and sinks from forested land. 

The GHG Inventory covers seven key greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride, and nitrogen trifluoride. In addition to tracking U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, the Inventory also calculates carbon dioxide that is removed from the atmosphere through the uptake of carbon in forests and other vegetation.

This impartial, policy neutral report has been compiled annually since 1993 and submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and also the Paris Agreement. The report is prepared by EPA in collaboration with numerous experts from other federal agencies, state government authorities, research and academic institutions, and industry associations. National inventories for developed countries should be provided to the UNFCCC each year by April 15.

Related Article: USDA Releases Updated Greenhouse Gas Methods Report for Agriculture and Forestry

To engage the public and researchers across the country, EPA conducts an annual public review and comment process for this document. The document was made available on the EPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions website and announced via Federal Register Notice for 30 days. Comments received after the closure of the public comment period are accepted and considered for the next edition of this annual report. Public review of this year’s report occurred from Feb. 15 to March 15, and comments received are posted to the docket EPA-HQ-OAR-2024-0004. Responses to comments will be posted to EPA’s website within 2-4 weeks following publication of this report.

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