Climate Decade in Review - Post 27: US Emissions of CO2 Exceed 6 Billion Tons

2004 - US CO2 emissions exceed 6 billion tons for the first time.

Long the world's leader in highest CO2 emissions, the United States' emissions of CO2 continued to grow during the decade of the 00's, surpassing 6 billion tons in calendar year 2004 (according to EPA's official GHG inventory). Growth in CO2 emission in the United States was slower in the 00's than during the 90's, however. In 1990, US CO2 emissions were slightly more than 5 billion tons and grew to 5.94 billion tons by 2000.

The 1990 date is important, because Kyoto uses 1990 as a baseline. Many other countries and the bulk of international negotiations also use 1990 as a baseline against which they strive to achieve emission reductions. The United States will have to reduce emissions almost 20% just to get back to the same emissions level as 1990.

This is one in the series of "Decade in Review" posts on this blog that began in January 2010. These posts present climate-change-related events that occurred during the 00's, the warmest decade in recorded history.
(Photo attribution: / CC BY-NC 2.0)

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