US energy-related emissions increased in 2018

It is the first year CO2 emissions have risen since 2014, according to the Energy Information Administration

The US saw an increase in energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions last year, rising to 5.27 billion metric tons.

That’s an increase of 2.7% compared to the levels seen in 2017 and it is the first year CO2 emissions have risen since 2014, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

It says the primary reasons for the increase were higher natural gas-related emissions, resulting from more extreme summer and winter weather as well as growth in transportation-related fuel emissions.

Energy-related emissions fell in six of the 10 past years and were 12% lower in 2018 compared to 2005.

Coal-related emissions decreased by 4% last year, making it the only fossil fuel with lower CO2 emissions compared to the levels in 2017.

It comes as natural gas emissions has increasingly displaced coal usage in the electric power sector in recent years.

The EIA states: “Natural gas consumption and emissions increased in 2018, largely because of colder winter and hotter summer weather. Natural gas is both the most prevalent home heating fuel and the most prevalent fuel used to generate electricity. Because both heating and cooling demand were higher in 2018, total natural gas emissions increased by 10%.

“US petroleum consumption also increased in 2018, contributing to a 1.9% increase in energy-related CO2 emissions from petroleum. Relatively strong economic growth spurred growth in diesel consumption, which resulted in a 6% increase in related CO2 emissions.”

Total electricity generation in the US rose by 3.6% in 2018 but electric power sector CO2 emissions only increased by 1.1%.

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