U.S. emissions dropped 6 percent in 2009 to lowest level since 2005
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — While ideologically driven controversy continues to swirl around EPA plans to regulate greenhouse gases, the agency is moving ahead. One of the first steps to establishing a regulatory framework is to know what it is you’re regulating. To that end, the EPA releases an annual inventory of greenhouse gas emissions and sinks and the latest version is up for public comment.
The draft report shows that, overall, 2009 greenhouse gas emissions dropped by 6 percent from the previous year due to a decrease in fuel and electricity consumption across all U.S. economic sectors. Total emissions from GHGs were about 6,640 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent. Overall, emissions have grown by 7.4 percent from 1990 to 2009. Emissions in 2009 represent the lowest total U.S. annual GHG emissions since 1995.
The inventory tracks annual greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 to 2009 at the national level. The gases covered by this inventory include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride. The inventory also calculates carbon dioxide emissions that are removed from the atmosphere by “sinks,” e.g., through the uptake of carbon by forests, vegetation, and soils.
This annual report is prepared by EPA in collaboration with experts from other federal agencies. After responding to public comments, the U.S. government will submit the final inventory report to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The report will fulfill the annual requirement of the UNFCCC international treaty, ratified by the United States in 1992, which sets an overall framework for intergovernmental efforts to tackle the challenge posed by climate change.
More information: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/usinventoryreport.html