|CO2 Emissions through 2006 by end-use sector. Click to enlarge.|
US carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels decreased by 1.3% in 2006, from 5,955 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (MMTCO2) in 2005 to 5,877 MMTCO2 in 2006, according to preliminary estimates released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Transportation-related carbon dioxide emissions, which account for about one third of total carbon dioxide emissions, decreased slightly (by 0.1%) in 2006. Increases in CO2 emissions from gasoline (+0.1 %) and diesel fuel (+1.8 %) were offset by declines in other petroleum fuels. Between 1990 and 2006, transportation-related CO2 emissions grew 25.4% (1.4 % per year).
|Annual percent change in CO2 emissions through 2006. Click to enlarge.|
The US economy, as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), grew by 3.3% and energy demand fell by 0.9% indicating that energy intensity (energy use per unit of GDP) fell by 4.2%. Carbon dioxide intensity (CO2 emission per unit of GDP) fell by 4.5%— the largest decline in intensity since 1990 and the fourth largest since 1949.
Factors that drove emissions lower include weather conditions that reduced the demand for heating and cooling services; higher energy prices for natural gas, motor gasoline, and electricity, that reduced energy demand; and the use of a less carbon-intensive fuel mix (more natural gas and non-carbon fuels) in the generation of electricity.
Through 2006, total US energy-related carbon dioxide emissions have grown by 17.9% since 1990. Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions account for more than 80% of US greenhouse gas emissions.
At the energy-sector level, other preliminary data indicate that:
Carbon dioxide emissions from the residential and commercial sectors decreased by 3.7% and 1.0 percent respectively in 2006, as heating degree-days declined by 7.4%, while at the same time cooling degree-days decreased by almost 1%.
Industrial emissions fell by 1.2% in 2006. Since 2004 emissions attributable to the industrial sector have fallen by almost 4% despite growth in industrial output.
From 1990 to 2006, the carbon dioxide intensity of the economy fell by 26.5% or 1.9% per year. By 2005 (the latest year of data for all greenhouse gases), carbon dioxide intensity had fallen by 23.1% and emissions of total greenhouse gases per dollar of GDP had fallen by 24.7%.
EIA will continue to refine its estimates of 2006 carbon dioxide emissions as more complete energy data become available. A full inventory of 2006 emissions of all greenhouse gases to be issued in November 2007 will present revised energy data and provide a further analysis of trends.