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US energy-related CO2 emissions decreased by 2.8% in 2019

7 May 2020

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), US energy-related CO2 emissions decreased by 2.8% in 2019, to 5,130 MtCO2, i.e. 15% below their 2007 peak of 6,003 MtCO2 and offsetting a 2.9% surge in 2018 that was due to increased energy consumption (warmer weather spurred air conditioning demand). In 2019, energy-related emissions fell faster than energy consumption (-0.9%) and the CO2 intensity (CO2 emissions per unit of GDP) improved noticeably, in a context of economic growth (+2.3% of GDP). Most of the decrease in CO2 emissions occurred in the power sector (-8.2% in 2019, i.e. -145 MtCO2), as renewable power generation continued to rise and to reduce coal consumption: CO2 emissions from coal fell by 14.6%, while CO2 emissions from the use of natural gas increased by 3.3% (limited increase in gas-fired power generation).

Emissions from the transport sector, which has been the largest source of energy-related CO2 emissions since exceeding the power sector in 2016, declined by 0.7% in 2019 (-13 Mt). In 2019, CO2 emissions from petroleum fuels (nearly 50% of which are due to motor gasoline use) fell by 0.8%; the decline in gasoline-related emissions (-0.7%) and in diesel-related emissions (-1.1%) was more than offset by the 1.9% increase in emissions from jet fuel (aviation). CO2 emissions from the residential and commercial sectors remained stable, and the increase in CO2 emissions from the industrial sector (+8 MtCO2) partially compensated by a decrease in transportation sector CO2 emissions (-13 MtCO2).

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