EPA Reveals Slight Increase in Greenhouse Gas Emissions

EPA Reveals Slight Increase in Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The 2022 inventory includes emissions from seven key greenhouse gases.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its annual report on national greenhouse gas emissions, revealing a modest rise in emissions for the year 2022. 

According to the latest Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks, emissions totaled 5,489 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent last year, marking a 1.3 percent increase from 2021. This uptick is attributed primarily to increased energy usage, spurred by the economic recovery following the pandemic downturn.

Despite this recent increase, the report highlighted a significant overall decline in emissions since 2005, with a reduction of 17 percent. This trend reflects the influence of various factors including shifts in the energy market, advancements in technology that enhance energy efficiency and changes in the carbon intensity of fuel types used.

“Through a rigorous development and review process, EPA annually refines and strengthens our greenhouse gas inventory, producing a comprehensive tally of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and sinks,” Joseph Goffman, assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, said in a statement. “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.”

The 2022 inventory, which includes emissions from seven key greenhouse gases, also considers carbon sequestration through forest growth and other vegetation. Improvements in this year's report include refined estimates for the oil and gas sectors as well as better methods for assessing forest carbon sinks.

This data is compiled with input from experts in government, academia and industry and requires developed nations to submit updated inventories to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement by April 15 each year. For its part, the EPA facilitates public involvement and expert feedback through an annual review and comment process, which ran from February 15 to March 15.

About the Author

Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor for Environmental Protection.

Featured Webinar