U.S. ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION
U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions Increase by 1.3 Percent in 1999
Estimated emissions of carbon dioxide in the United States and its territories, which account for over 80 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, increased by 1.3 percent in 1999, rising from 1,507 million metric tons of carbon equivalent (MMTCe) in 1998 to 1,527 MMTCe in 1999, according to Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States 1999, a report released today by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The 1.3 percent growth in emissions in 1999 is more typical of the average annual growth rate during the 1990's (1.4 percent) than the 0.1 percent growth experienced in 1998.
Growth in carbon dioxide emissions could have been even higher if normal weather patterns had persisted and non-fossil-fuel power generation stayed at average levels. An analysis by EIA indicates that U.S. carbon dioxide emissions in 1999 could have been higher by as much as 29 MMTCe if weather patterns during the year had been normal, and if electricity generation from nuclear power plants had not been higher than in recent experience.
Total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions rose by 0.8 percent in 1999, increasing from 1,818 million metric tons of carbon equivalent (MMTCe) in 1998 to 1,833 MMTCe in 1999. While the 1999 growth rate of 0.8 percent was slightly below the average annual growth rate of 1.1 percent observed from 1990 to1999, it was higher than the 1998 growth rate of 0.1 percent.
Total estimated U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 1999 consisted of 1,527 MMTCe of carbon dioxide (83 percent of total emissions), 165 MMTCe of methane (9 percent of total emissions), 103 MMTCe of nitrous oxide (6 percent of total emissions), and 38 MMTCe of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorcarbons (PFCs) and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) (2 percent of total emissions). Detailed information by greenhouse gas include the following:
* Estimated methane emissions, the second largest contributor after carbon dioxide with 9 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions, declined by 1.8 percent, from 168 MMTCe in 1998 to 165 MMTCe in 1999. Since 1990, U.S. methane emissions have declined by about 9.4 percent.
* Estimated nitrous oxide emissions in 1999, which account for about 6 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions, remained at 103 MMTCe, equal to the 1998 level. Nitrous oxide emissions have grown by 4.8 percent since 1990.
* Emissions of human-made gases such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexaflouride are 2 percent of total emissions of greenhouse gases. This category experienced a 5.0 percent decline (from 40 to 38 MMTCe) between 1998 and 1999. However, these gases as a group have grown by 56.8 percent since 1990.
The report also includes estimates of carbon dioxide emissions from energy consumption on a sectoral level, including the following:
* Transportation-related carbon dioxide emissions, which account for about a third of total carbon dioxide emissions from energy consumption, increased by 2.9 percent to 496 MMTCe in 1999, as a healthy economy encouraged travel and the delivery of goods.
* Carbon dioxide emissions in the residential sector increased by 0.4 percent to 290 MMTCe, while emissions in the commercial sector fell by 0.4 percent to 243 MMTCe in 1999. Although carbon dioxide emissions from the direct combustion of fuels (primarily natural gas) increased by 3.9 percent in the residential sector and by 2.6 percent in the commercial sector, lower carbon dioxide emissions from purchased electricity served to keep carbon dioxide emissions relatively flat in these two sectors.
* Despite rapid growth of the economy (4.1 percent growth), energy-related industrial carbon dioxide emissions in 1999 increased by 0.2 percent to 481 MMTCe. This small increase may be due in part to slower growth in the energy-intensive industries, possible structural change towards non-energy- intensive industries and possible efficiency improvements.
Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States 1999 was prepared by EIA pursuant to section 1605(a) of the Energy Policy Act of 1992. EIA is an independent, policy-neutral agency within the Department of Energy that is responsible for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating energy information.
An electronic version of the report is available on EIA's Web site at http://www.eia.gov/oiaf/1605/ggrpt/index.html. Printed copies of the report will be available in November from the U.S. Government Printing Office, 202/512-1800 or through EIA's National Energy Information Center, 202/586-8800.
EIA Program Contacts: Paul McArdle, 202/586-4445; Perry Lindstrom, 202/586-0934