Energy, Enforcement and Inspection, Environmental

EPA Releases Annual GHG Inventory Report

The EPA recently released its annual Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks (GHG Inventory), which presents a national-level overview of annual GHG emissions from 1990 to 2022 and includes a preliminary outlook on anticipated 2023 emissions.

The inventory covers seven GHGs:

  • Carbon dioxide
  • Methane
  • Nitrous oxide
  • Hydrofluorocarbons
  • Perfluorocarbons
  • Sulfur hexafluoride
  • Nitrogen trifluoride

“Net U.S. greenhouse gas emissions were 5,489 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2022, a 1.3% increase in emissions from 2021,” an EPA news release says. “The increase is largely due to higher energy use in 2022, reflecting the continued rebound in economic activity following the height of the coronavirus pandemic. However, emissions have declined 17% overall since 2005, which reflects the combined impacts of several factors, including energy market trends, technological changes including energy efficiency improvements, and the carbon intensity of energy fuel choices.”

For 2022 GHG emissions, by economic sectors, the data shows the following distribution:

  • Transportation: 28%
  • Electric power: 25%
  • Industry: 23%
  • Residential and commercial: 13%
  • Agriculture: 10%

“Through a rigorous development and review process, EPA annually refines and strengthens our [GHG] inventory, producing a comprehensive tally of U.S. [GHG] emissions and sinks,” said Joseph Goffman, assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, in the Agency news release. “Reflecting input from hundreds of experts across the government, academia, industry, and consulting, the GHG Inventory report is a model for high-quality and transparent national GHG accounting.”

This year’s report contains several new features, including updates to estimates for oil and gas and incorporation of long-term research into methods for estimating emissions and sinks from forested land. It also includes information about changes and sources of GHG emissions such as:

  • Cement production
  • Fossil fuel combustion
  • Non-energy use of fuels
  • Iron and steel production
  • Other industrial processes
  • Petrol chemical production
  • Natural gas systems
  • Petroleum systems
  • Ammonia production
  • Waste incineration
  • Lime production
  • Other energy

“This impartial, policy neutral report has been compiled annually since 1993 and submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and also the Paris Agreement,” the news release adds. “The report is prepared by EPA in collaboration with numerous experts from other federal agencies, state government authorities, research and academic institutions, and industry associations.”

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