U.S. emissions during 2006 decreased by 1.1 percent overall from the previous year, according to the national greenhouse gas inventory released today by the EPA.
Total emissions of the six main greenhouse gases in 2006 were equivalent to 7,054.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. These gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride. The report indicates that overall emissions have grown by 14.7 percent from 1990 to 2006, while the U.S. economy has grown by 59 percent over the same period.
The decrease in emissions in 2006 was due primarily to a decrease in carbon dioxide emissions associated with fuel and electricity consumption. The following factors were primary contributors to this decrease:
• compared to 2005, 2006 had warmer winter conditions, which decreased consumption of heating fuels, as well as cooler summer conditions, which reduced demand for electricity;
• restraint on fuel consumption caused by rising fuel prices, primarily in the transportation sector; and
• increased use of natural gas and renewables in the electric power sector.
The report, Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2006, is the latest in an annual set of reports that the United States submits to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.