U.S. ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION
WASHINGTON DC 20585
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 30, 2004
U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels increased by 0.9 percent in 2003, from 5,736 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (MMTCO2) in 2002 to 5,788 MMTCO2 in 2003, according to preliminary estimates released today by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The 2003 increase of 0.9 percent is below the average annual growth rate of 1.1 percent in emissions from 1990 to 2003.
U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Fossil Fuels Increased by 0.9 Percent
in 2003, But Emissions Remain Below the 2000 Level
After a relatively large increase of 3.0 percent in 2000, due to weather-related factors and growth in the economy, emissions declined in 2001 by 1.8 percent. With moderate growth of 0.8 percent in 2002 and 0.9 percent in 2003, emissions still remain slightly below the 2000 level of 5,798 MMTCO2.
Total U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions have grown by 16 percent over the 1990 to 2003 period. Carbon dioxide emissions account for over 80 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and are a good indicator of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
Factors that put upward pressure on emissions in 2003 included: economic growth of 3.1 percent; colder winter weather than in 2002, with a 3.8-percent increase in heating degree days; and, increased reliance on coal and petroleum in electric power generation due to higher natural gas prices. Coal and petroleum are more carbon-intensive than natural gas.
Factors that tended to mitigate an increase in emissions in 2003 included: a cooler summer with a 7.5-percent decrease in cooling degree days, a slight drop in electricity generation of 0.2 percent, and an overall energy demand rise of only 0.6 percent.
On a sectoral level, preliminary data indicate that:
From 1990 to 2003, carbon dioxide emissions per dollar of gross domestic product (GDP), which is a measure of carbon intensity, fell by 20.6 percent. By 2002 (the latest year of data for all greenhouse gases), carbon intensity had fallen by 18.9 percent and emissions of total greenhouse gases per dollar of GDP had fallen by 21.3 percent.
- Carbon dioxide emissions in the residential sector grew by 2.5 percent due mainly to increased heating demand in winter and a rise in the housing stock of 1.1 percent.
- Emissions from the commercial sector increased by 1.3 percent due to electricity-related carbon dioxide emissions growth also of 1.3 percent. Increased electricity-related emissions resulted from growth in electricity sales of 0.4 percent and a higher carbon intensity of generation. Electricity-related emissions account for over 77 percent of commercial sector emissions.
- Industrial emissions remained the same as 2002, reflecting almost no growth in overall industrial output (0.2 percent).
- Transportation-related carbon dioxide emissions, which account for about a third of total carbon dioxide emissions, increased by 0.5 percent in 2003. Emissions related to gasoline demand increased by 0.4 percent, as direct emissions in the transportation sector were mitigated by a 35-percent increase in ethanol consumption. (Emissions related to ethanol production are counted in the agricultural component of the industrial sector.)
EIA will continue to refine its estimates of 2003 carbon dioxide emissions as more complete energy data become available. A full inventory of 2003 emissions of all greenhouse gases will be available in October from EIA using revised energy data and providing a further analysis of trends.
The preliminary estimates are on EIA's web site at:
|The analysis described in this press release was prepared by the Energy Information Administration, the independent statistical and analytical agency within the U.S. Department of Energy. The information contained in the report and the press release should be attributed to the Energy Information Administration and should not be construed as advocating or reflecting any policy position of the Department of Energy or any other organization.
EIA Program Contact: Perry Lindstrom, 202/586-0934; Paul McArdle, 202/586-4445
EIA Press Contact: National Energy Information Center, 202/586-8800
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