U.S. greenhouse gas emissions increased 3.2 percent from 2009 to 2010: EPA Report

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U.S. greenhouse gas emissions increased 3.2 percent from 2009 to 2010: EPA Report

By Greentech Lead America: The United States’ overall
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have increased 3.2 percent from 2009 to 2010.
This follows two years of emissions reduction by the world’s second largest
emitter. 

According to Environmental Protection Agency’s 17th
annual greenhouse gas report, the primary reasons for the increase in emissions
include increasing energy demand associated with an expanding economy and an
increase in electricity demand due to air conditioning usage during the
warmer-than-average summer of 2010.

Experts said the country’s recent trend in lowering
emissions was more related to a flattened out economy than to a change in
behavior; as capital found its way back into Americans hands’, carbon emissions
would raise.

Despite evidence pointing to the unequivocal connection
between greenhouse gas emissions and anthropogenic global warming, overall
emissions have increased by 10.5 percent from 1990 to 2010 with the total
U.S. GHG
emissions in 2010 being equivalent to approximately 6,822 metric tons
of carbon dioxide. 

The EPA reports that 79 percent of the country’s
greenhouse gas emissions are sourced from fossil fuel combustion.  The
transportation sector accounted for 32 percent of carbon dioxide
emissions.  In an effort to curb these emissions, the Obama administration
has passed new federal regulations for fuel efficiency.

Industrial emissions rounded out the top three sectors,
with 20 percent of the GHG emissions in 2010. Natural gas systems were the
largest source of methane emissions in the U.S. in 2010. Methane is 20 percent
more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.

The report indicates that the primary GHG emitted by
human activities in the U.S. in 2010 was carbon dioxide representing
approximately 83.6 percent of total GHG emissions. 

U.S. GHG emissions were partially offset by carbon
sequestration in forests, trees in urban areas, agricultural soils and
landfilled yard trimmings and food scraps.  In fact, these “sinks” offset
the total emissions in 2010 by 15.8 percent.

Greenhouse gas emissions in Britain dip 7 percent in 2011

In 2011, the UK emitted 549.3 million tons of carbon
dioxide equivalent, a 7 percent drop from 2010 levels, according to data from
the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

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