U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Dropped 1.6 Percent in 2011

April 17, 2013

U.S. carbon pollution dropped slightly in 2011, according to an annual Environmental Protection Agency report released on April 15, 2013.

The report, entitled Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks, tracks total annual U.S. emissions and removals by source, economic sector, and type of greenhouse gas going back to 1990. EPA uses national energy data, data on national agricultural activities, and other national statistics to provide a comprehensive accounting of total greenhouse gas emissions for all man-made sources in the United States. Key findings include:

  • Total carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions in 2011 were 6.70 billion metric tons, a 1.6 percent decrease from 6.81 billion metric tons in 2010.
  • Fossil fuel combustion, which includes electricity generation, was the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Emissions from electricity generation dropped to 2.16 billion metric tons in 2011 from 2.26 billion metric tons in 2010.
  • Emissions from transportation were 1.75 billion metric tons in 2011, down from 1.76 billion metric tons in 2010.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions in 2011 were down 6.9 percent from 2005 levels, but up 8.4 percent from 1990 levels.