Even before the country rejoined the Paris Agreement, progress had been made on greenhouse gas emissions.

Infographic: Three Charts about U.S. Climate Emissions

May 20, 2021

by Jeffrey Winters

The levels of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases have increased from around 280 parts per million at the beginning of industrialization in the 19th century to a record 412 ppm today, which scientists believe could be high enough to lead to catastrophic climate changes. The first step in turning this situation around is to reduce and then eliminate greenhouse gases. While the United States has been criticized for not doing its part—it even left the international Paris Agreement on emissions reductions for a few years—the U.S. has reduced emissions levels in some sectors of its economy. Some painful measures may have to be taken to bring net emissions to zero, but the nation is not as much a scofflaw as many think.
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