US Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rise Again

Fossil fuel combustion at power plants and factors still the biggest contributor while GHG emissions from cars, trucks and buses rose 21 percent from 1990-1999.

Published: 14-Jan-2001

U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions rose 0.9 percent from 1998 to 1999, according to a draft EPA report recently released for public comment. Total GHG emissions of the six main greenhouse gases (weighted to reflect equivalent emissions of carbon dioxide or CO2), rose from 6,689 to 6,748 million metric tons. These gases include: CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride. The CO2 from fossil fuel combustion at power plants and factories is the largest source of all greenhouse gases, accounting or 80 percent of all emissions in 1999. Fossil fuel combustion was responsible for 88 percent of total greenhouse emission growth from 1990 to 1999. The study also shows that from 1990 - 1999, GHG emissions from cars, trucks and buses rose 21 percent, while total highway miles traveled climbed 13 percent.

The report, "Draft Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990 - 1999," is required of the United States under its responsibilities as a party to the Framework Convention on Climate Change, which was signed in June 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit. Under the Framework Convention, the United States and other developed countries agreed to submit greenhouse gas emission reports annually to the Secretariat of the Convention.

The report is available at:

A Federal Register notice announcing a 40-day public comment period on the report was published Jan. 9. To receive a hard copy of this document, fax a request to the Agency at 202-260-6405, or write to the following address: U.S. EPA, Office of Atmospheric Programs, Market Policy Branch (MC: 2175), 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460. For technical information, call Wiley Barbour of EPA's Office of Air and Radiation at 202-260-6972.

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