US ‘accidentally’ cuts emission by 6%

The USA's Energy Information Administration is predicting that the country's carbon dioxide emissions for 2009 will be 5.9% lower than they were last year.

This week the EIA released its latest projections for CO2 emissions in its regular Short Term Energy Outlook paper.

The reduction is largely down to a lower demand for fuel and energy because of the economic slow down, rather than due to any proactive attempt to cut carbon.

“Several factors contribute to a projected reduction of nearly 6% in US carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel use in 2009, primarily associated with the economic downturn,” said EIA administrator Richard Newell.

“70 percent of the expected decline – an estimated 242 million metric tons – is from reduced coal and natural gas use in industry and buildings, substitution of natural gas for coal in electric power, and an increase in carbon-free electricity.

“The remaining 30 percent of the emissions decline – totalling 102 million metric tons – is due to reduced consumption of jet fuel and distillate fuel oil, including diesel fuel and heating oil.”

Full technical details of the reduction can be found in the EIA document Understanding the Decline in Carbon Dioxide Emissions in 2009.

Sam Bond

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie