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U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory Released for Public Comment

Release Date: 02/07/2003
Contact Information:

Dave Deegan 202-564-7839/

(02/07/03) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has released a draft version of the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2001 for a 30-day public comment period. The major finding in this year’s report is that overall emissions declined by 1.6% from 2000 to 2001, the first such decline since 1990. This decline was due primarily to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions associated with fuel and electricity consumption in the industrial sector of the economy, and also coincided with a drop in industrial output. Secondary contributors include a relatively warm winter, which reduced demand for heating fuel, and targeted measures to reduce non-carbon dioxide greenhouse gas emissions in industries such as aluminum smelting. Overall, total U.S. emissions have risen by 13 percent from 1990 to 2001.

Total emissions of the six main greenhouse gases were 6,947 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2001. These gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride. Fossil fuel combustion was the largest source of emissions, accounting for 80 percent of the total.

The Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2001 is prepared annually by the EPA, in collaboration with experts from a dozen other federal agencies, and is one of the most comprehensive analyses of greenhouse gases in the world. After EPA completes a final version of the document, the Department of State will submit the Inventory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

A Federal Register notice announcing a 30-day public comment period on the report was published on Jan. 29, 2003. The report is available at: