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U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions Up Again in 2005

Published by MAC on 2006-06-29

U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions Up Again in 2005


29th June 2006

U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels increased by 0.1 percent in 2005, from 5,903 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2004 to 5,909 MMTCO2 in 2005, according to preliminary estimates released Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), a statistical agency within the Department of Energy.

The 2005 emissions increase was the third smallest during the 1990 to 2005 period, exceeding only the emissions declines recorded in 1991 and 2001.

While the economy grew by 3.5 percent between 2004 and 2005, energy demand fell by 0.5 percent. The inflation-adjusted price of motor gasoline rose 19 percent, and the price of residential natural gas rose 16 percent. These price increases in oil and gas helped contribute to the overall drop in energy demand.

Total U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions have grown by 18.4 percent between 1990 and 2005. Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions account for over 80 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

At the energy-sector level, preliminary data indicate that: Carbon dioxide emissions in the residential sector increased by 3.2 percent in 2005, mainly from increases in the residential demand for electricity.

Emissions from the commercial sector increased by 1.9 percent in 2005, also due mainly to increased electricity demand. Industrial emissions fell by 3.3 percent in 2005 as the U.S. economy continued to move away from heavy manufacturing and as petroleum and natural gas prices rose.

Transportation-related carbon dioxide emissions, which account for about a third of total carbon dioxide emissions, increased by 0.2 percent in 2005. Emissions related to gasoline demand decreased by 0.4 percent, emissions related to diesel fuel grew by 1.0 percent and jet fuel emissions decreased by 0.5 percent.

U.S. carbon dioxide intensity (energy-related carbon dioxide emissions per unit of economic output) fell by 3.3 percent in 2005.

From 1990 to 2005, the carbon dioxide intensity of the economy fell by 24.3 percent.

By 2004 (the latest year of data for all greenhouse gases), carbon dioxide intensity had fallen by 21.8 percent and emissions of total greenhouse gases per dollar of GDP had fallen by 23.4 percent.

The 3.3-percent drop in carbon dioxide intensity of the economy in 2005 is greater than the average reduction of 1.8 percent per year experienced since 1990.

EIA will continue to refine its estimates of 2005 carbon dioxide emissions as more complete energy data become available. A full inventory of 2005 emissions of all greenhouse gases will be available in November using revised energy data and providing a further analysis of trends. The preliminary estimates are on EIA's website at:

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