US energy-related carbon emissions dropped 12 percent last year, compared with 2005 levels, after increasing in 2013 and 2014, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Reduced energy-sector C02 emissions in 2015 are largely due to a decreased use of coal and increased use of natural gas in the electricity mix, the EIA says. Such fuel-use changes have accounted for 68 percent of total energy-related CO2 reductions from 2005 to 2015.
In 2015 the US electric power sector’s CO2 emissions were 1,925 million metric tons, or about 37 percent of the total US energy-related CO2 emissions of 5,271 million metric tons. Of those 1,925 million metric tons, 71 percent (1,364 million metric tons) were from coal, compared to 28 percent (530 million metric tons) from natural gas.
As part of its commitments under the Paris climate agreement, the Obama administration has pledged to cut US emissions between 26 percent and 28 percent by 2025, compared to 2005 levels.
The Obama administration has said the Clean Power Plan will play a key role in helping the US achieve its global warming targets. The plan, which has been challenged in the courts, would require existing coal-burning power plants to cut carbon emissions by 32 percent by 2030, compared to 2005 levels.
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