U.S. ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION
Reported Reductions of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Tripled Between 1994 and 1999
A total of 201 U.S. companies and other organizations reported they had undertaken 1,715 projects that achieved greenhouse gas emission reductions in 1999. The reported reduction of 226 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent was three times the amount reported in 1994, the first year of the Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Program.
According to information released today by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the reported reduction was equal to about 3.4 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 1999.
EIA's Voluntary Reporting Program affords an opportunity for any organization or individual to establish a public record of its achievements in reducing or offsetting greenhouse gas emissions in a national, publicly- available database.
The electric power sector, with 100 companies reporting, continues to provide the largest number of participants in the program. Reporters included nearly all of the largest electricity generating utilities. The companies reported projects such as improved plant efficiencies, cogeneration, use of non-fossil fuels such as nuclear and renewable fuels, and demand-side management programs that reduce power use by their customers. Other projects cover many different approaches to reducing or offsetting emissions, including activities such as methane recovery projects at landfills, urban forestry, and worldwide tree planting projects.
The number of participants from outside the electric power sector (101 reporters) was eight times the number reporting in the first year of the program. These companies now comprise half of the reporters to the program and include firms engaged in automobile manufacturing, petroleum production and refining, coal mining, and the chemical industry.
Electricity generation projects accounted for over half of all reported reductions (see Figure). Waste treatment and disposal projects, mostly through the reduction of methane emissions at landfills, accounted for almost 20 percent of the reported reductions. Smaller reductions were reported for energy end-use projects designed to increase energy efficiency in end-use applications (such as lighting, appliances, and heating and air conditioning), methane reductions from petroleum, natural gas and coal systems, carbon sequestration projects, and cogeneration facilities.
The Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Program, required by Section 1605(b) of the Energy Policy Act of 1992, is part of U.S. Government efforts to develop innovative, low-cost, and nonregulatory approaches to limit emissions of greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases, which include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), absorb infrared energy and prevent it from leaving the atmosphere. Increasing levels of these gases in the atmosphere may contribute to an increase in average global temperatures, resulting in adverse climate changes. Of the 226 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2) reported reductions, the vast majority was in the form of carbon dioxide (172.2 MMTCO2), with lesser amounts of methane (48.8 MMTCO2), HFCs, PFCs and SF6 (4.3 MMTCO2), and nitrous oxide (0.3 MMTCO2).
The full report Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases 1999, can be downloaded from EIA's website at: http://www.eia.gov/oiaf/1605/vr99data/pdf/0608(99).pdf. The database of reported greenhouse gas reductions for the Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Program can be downloaded at: http://www.eia.gov/oiaf/1605/database.html.
Printed copies of the report will be available in late January 2001 from the U.S. Government Printing Office, 202/512-1800, or through EIA's National Energy Information Center, 202/586-8800.
For further information on reporting emission reductions or accessing a public database of the voluntary reports, contact EIA at 1-800-803-5182 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EIA Program Contact: Paul McArdle , 202/586-4445; Stephen Calopedis, 202/586-1156