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US greenhouse gas emissions climb in 2021

Despite the global emission reduction promises spurred by the pandemic in 2020, the Rhodium Group reports a 6.2% rise of US emissions in 2021, following a 10% decline in 2020. The rise was attributed mainly to a 17% increase in coal-fired generation from 2020 and a ‘rapid rebound’ in road transportation (mainly freight).

The reverse in US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions was seen as a disappointment ‘putting the US even further off track from achieving its 2025 and 2030 climate targets’, said Rhodium analysts.

GHG emissions rebounded slightly faster than Goldman Sach’s estimates for GDP economic growth of 5.7% in 2021.

The transportation and electric power sectors experienced the steepest rise in emissions relative to 2020, with 10% and 6.6% respectively… though both sectors claimed this was a two-thirds drop in emissions compared to 2019. With only modest growth of 3% in overall power demand in 2021, the sharp rise in emissions was largely due to coal generation. Worryingly, this marks the first annual increase in coal generation since 2014, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). The building sector saw GHG emissions rise 1.9% in 2021 from 2020.

Adding to the alarm, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) identified 2021 as the fourth hottest year on record in the US. Twenty major weather and climate-related disasters cost a total of $145bn and led to the deaths of at least 688 people.


News Item details

Journal title: Energy World

Region: North America

Countries: North America -

Subjects: Environment/Climate

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