Press Room


MAY 5, 2010

EIA Reports Record-setting 7-percent Decline in U.S. Carbon Dioxide
Emissions in 2009

In 2009, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in the United States saw their largest absolute and percentage decline (405 million metric tons or 7.0 percent) since the start of U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) comprehensive record of annual energy data that begins in 1949.

Today EIA released an analysis of the factors affecting this decline. “The large decline in emissions was driven by the economic downturn, combined with an ongoing trend toward a less energy-intensive economy and a decrease in the carbon-intensity of the energy supply,” said EIA Administrator Richard Newell.

In addition to a decline in gross domestic product (GDP) in 2009 of 2.4 percent, the energy intensity of the economy (energy consumed per dollar of GDP) declined 2.4 percent and the carbon intensity of the energy supply (carbon dioxide per unit of energy consumed) declined by 2.3 percent. The latter two factors led to a decline in the overall carbon intensity of the economy (carbon dioxide per dollar of GDP) of over 4.5 percent between 2008 and 2009.

The analysis can be found on EIA's website at:

The emissions data upon which the analysis is based can be found at:

The product described in this press release was prepared by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the statistical and analytical agency within the U.S. Department of Energy. By law, EIA’s data, analyses, and forecasts are independent of approval by any other officer or employee of the United States Government. The views in the product and press release therefore should not be construed as representing those of the Department of Energy or other Federal agencies.

EIA Program Contacts: Perry Lindstrom, 202-586-0934; Paul McArdle, 202-586-4445

EIA Press Contact: Jonathan Cogan, 202-586-8719