Carbon-dioxide emissions from the United States’ energy sector now stand at 12% below 2005 levels, a drop mainly driven by the continuing collapse of the coal industry. Last year, coal made up 80% of all retired electricity-generating capacity, with plants shutting down across the mid-west and south.
Americans’ energy consumption resulted in the release of 5,2bn tons of CO2 last year, according to the United States (US) Energy Information Administration (EIA), down from 5,4bn tons in 2014. The 12% cut since 2005 has come during a period in which the US economy has, adjusting for inflation, grown by 15%.
A flurry of coal plant retirements and an increase in the production of natural gas and renewable energy have pushed the US further towards the federal government’s goal of slashing emissions by between 26% and 28% by 2025, prompting some analysts to call for stronger measures to accelerate the decline.
According to the EIA, the 2015 fall in emissions was largely due to “decreased use of coal and the increased use of natural gas for electricity generation”.
Source: The Guardian