US produced the least energy emissions in 2020 ‘than it has in four decades’

Carbon emissions are expected rise by 7% in 2021 as the US emerges from the pandemic and travel and the economy start to grow again

The Big Zero report

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.

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