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U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Down in New EPA Report

U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Down in New EPA Report

On April 15th, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its 29th Annual Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks. The report provides a policy-neutral overview of annual greenhouse gas emissions produced by the U.S. between 1990 and 2020. In the findings, the EPA determined that the U.S. produced 5,222.4 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2020, a 10.6% decrease from the 2019 levels (after accounting for land sector sequestration). Lower greenhouse gas levels were impacted by the effects of the ongoing COVID pandemic on key sources of emissions like transportation and electricity. The report also lists other factors that contributed to the decrease, including broader population trends, energy market trends, changes in technology, energy efficient improvements, and carbon intensity of energy fuel choices.

Particularly, the transportation industry decreased their emissions by 13% in 2020 due to a lower demand for travel as a result of the COVID pandemic. Transportation still accounted for 27% of the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by the U.S., followed by electricity (25%), industry (24%), commercial and residential (13%), and agriculture (11%). In addition, due to a decrease in demand from the COVID pandemic as well as the continued shift from coal to less carbon-intensive energy sources like natural gas and renewables, the electric power sector cut their emissions by 10% from 2019.
The report was prepared alongside experts from federal agencies, state government authorities, research and academic institutions, and industry associations to provide a holistic review of all potential sources of greenhouse gas emissions. For more information and the full report, visit: and

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