What Happened to Energy-Related CO2 Emissions in 2020?


What Happened to Energy-Related CO2 Emissions in 2020?   ©The Earth & I
  • Overall, mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions, energy-related CO2 emissions decreased by 11% in the US in 2020.

  • Transportation sector: Petroleum, which typically accounts for the majority of CO2 emissions in transportation, experienced a 15% decrease in emissions compared to 2019.

  • Commercial sector: CO2 emissions associated with energy use fell overall by 12%, with emissions from commercial electricity down by 13%, commercial petroleum down by 13%, and natural gas by 11%.

  • Industrial sector: Energy-related CO2 emissions fell by 8% overall, with coal emissions down 15%, electricity by 15%, petroleum by 8%, and natural gas by 2%.

  • Residential sector: CO2 emissions associated with energy use in the residential sector declined by 6% in 2020, with residential petroleum emissions down by 11%, natural gas by 7%, and electricity by 5%.

  • Residential petroleum emissions fell by 11%, natural gas by 7%, and electricity by 5%.

  • Within the U.S. power sector, emissions from coal declined the most, at 19%. Natural gas-related CO2 rose by 3%.

  • In 2020, as fossil fuel generation declined, generation from renewables continued to grow. Generation from wind and solar together increased by 17% in 2020

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration


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