The US produced the least carbon emissions from energy consumption in 2020 than it has in nearly 40 years.
That’s according to a new report from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), which found energy-related emissions fell to the lowest level last year since 1983 as the country responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Around 4.6 billion metric tons (Bmt) were emitted in 2020, a 11% fall from 2019 – the largest annual decrease on record.
US fuel consumption accounted for around 2Bmt of energy-related carbon emissions or around 45% of the US total, with around 77% of fuel emissions coming from the transportation sector last year.
Natural gas consumption was responsible for around 1.7Bmt of CO2 emissions or around 36% of the total – its largest share on record.
Around 38% of emissions from natural gas occurred in the electric power sector and 32% were in the industrial sector.
Coal consumption, which has declined in the electric power sector over the last decade, accounted for 0.9Bmt or 19% of total CO2 emissions.
The EIA expects CO2 emissions to grow by 7% in 2021 as the US emerges from the pandemic and travel and the economy start to grow again.