EPA Seeks Comment on Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public comment on the annual Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2008 draft report. This report will be open for public comment for 30 days after the Federal Register notice is published.

The draft report shows that in 2008, overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have decreased by 2.9 percent. This downward trend was attributed to a decrease in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions associated with fuel and electricity consumption. Total emissions from GHGs were about 6,946 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent. Overall, emissions have grown by 13.6 percent from 1990 to 2008.

The inventory tracks annual GHG emissions from 1990 to 2008 at the national level. The gases covered by this inventory include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride. The inventory also calculates CO2 emissions that are removed from the atmosphere by “sinks,” e.g., through the uptake of carbon by forests, vegetation, and soils.

This annual report is prepared by EPA in collaboration with experts from other federal agencies. After responding to public comments, the U.S. government will submit the final inventory report to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The report will fulfill the annual requirement of the UNFCCC international treaty, ratified by the United States in 1992, which sets an overall framework for intergovernmental efforts to tackle the challenge posed by climate change.

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