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Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks

Public Review of Draft U.S. Inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2019

EPA develops an annual report, called the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks (Inventory), that tracks U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and sinks by source, economic sector, and greenhouse gas going back to 1990. Each year since the early 1990s, EPA has published the draft report in February, to allow for public comment prior to publishing the final report by April 15 of this year.

Per an announcement in the Federal Register (FR) FRL-10019-87-OAR, the draft 1990-2019 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory is now available for public comment. To ensure your comments are considered for the final version of the document, please submit your comments by March 15, 2021. Learn more about the draft report and how to submit comments.

About the Emissions Inventory

EPA has prepared the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks since the early 1990s. This annual report provides a comprehensive accounting of total greenhouse gas emissions for all man-made sources in the United States. The gases covered by the Inventory include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride, and nitrogen trifluoride. The Inventory also calculates carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere by “sinks,” e.g., through the uptake of carbon and storage in forests, vegetation, and soils.

The national greenhouse gas inventory is submitted to the United Nations in accordance with the Framework Convention on Climate Change Exit. In preparing the annual emissions inventory report, EPA collaborates with hundreds of experts representing more than a dozen U.S. government agencies, academic institutions, industry associations, consultants and environmental organizations. EPA also collects greenhouse gas emissions data from individual facilities and suppliers of certain fossil fuels and industrial gases through the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program.

Overview of Greenhouse Gases and Sources of Emissions

Key findings from the DRAFT 1990-2019 U.S. Inventory include:

  • In 2019, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions totaled 6,577 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents, or 5,788 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents after accounting for sequestration from the land sector.
  • Emissions decreased from 2018 to 2019 by 1.8 percent (after accounting for sequestration from the land sector). This decrease was driven largely by a decrease in emissions from fossil fuel combustion resulting from a decrease in total energy use in 2019 compared to 2018 and a continued shift from coal to natural gas, in particular in the electric power sector.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 (after accounting for sequestration from the land sector) were nearly 13 percent below 2005 levels.

See the Data

EPA has developed an interactive tool that provides access to data from the national greenhouse gas inventory. Visit the Greenhouse Gas Inventory Data Explorer to create customized graphs, examine trends over time, and download the data. Note: the Data Explorer will be updated with data through 2019 with publication of the Inventory in April after completion of public review of the Draft Inventory described above. 

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