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Greenhouse Gas Emissions Dropped 2.2% in 2015, EPA Says

emissionsGreenhouse gas emissions in the US declined by 2.2 percent between 2014 and 2015, according to EPA data, which finds the nation produced 6,586.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2015.

In its annual draft greenhouse gas report, the EPA said total emissions of climate change-causing gases decreased in 2015 after increasing slightly in 2014 (0.9 percent) and 2013 (2.2 percent).

The agency attributes the drop in emissions to a decrease in CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion. This is result of multiple factors, including switching from coal to natural gas, a warmer 2015 winter, which led to decreased demand for heating fuel, and a slight decrease in electricity demand.

Since 1990, US emissions have increased at an average annual rate of 0.2 percent.

The EPA report comes as a growing number of private companies are committing to reduce emissions across their operations and supply chains in line with what scientists say is needed to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. Some 211 companies have set Science Based Targets and of these, 35 have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative.

In an earlier interview, Walmart’s Fred Bedore said there’s a business case for reducing emissions. Walmart is the first retailer to have its emissions-reduction plan certified by the Science Based Targets initiative.

“It’s logic,” Bedore said. “When you turn off a light when you leave a room, you’re not consuming electricity. If you’re rerouting your trucks to make sure you save fuel, you’ll save on the bottom line. From an efficiency perspective, there’s tons of rational.”

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