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U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report Released

Release Date: 04/17/2006
Contact Information: Roxanne Smith, (202) 564-4355 / (media only); Leif Hockstad, (202) 343-9432 / hockstad.leif or Lisa Hanle, (202) 343-9434 / (all other inquiries),Contacto en español: Lina Younes, (202) 564-4355 / (prensa solamente)

(Washington, D.C. - April 17, 2006) EPA's latest report on greenhouse gas emissions, prepared for the United Nations Framework on Climate Change, shows that the United States is making progress in reducing the emissions of some critical gases as it works toward cutting our greenhouse gas intensity by 18 percent by 2012. After gathering comments from a broad range of stakeholders around the country, the agency has published the "Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2004." The report analyzes the sources of greenhouse gas emissions.

"The Bush Administration has an unparalleled financial, international and domestic commitment to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "Even with a dramatic increase in economic activity, the U.S. is making significant progress toward the president's greenhouse gas reduction goals by working with our partners to reduce their climate footprints in cost-effective ways, both at home and abroad."

The report shows that both methane and nitrous oxide emissions have decreased from 1990 levels by 10 percent and two percent, respectively. Overall, greenhouse gas emissions during 2004 increased by 1.7 percent from the previous year. This increase, which occurred during a period of economic expansion, was due primarily to an increase in carbon dioxide emissions associated with fuel and electricity consumption. Fossil fuel combustion was the largest source of emissions, accounting for 80 percent of the total. While the U.S. economy expanded by 51 percent from 1990 to 2004, emissions have grown by only 15.8 percent over the same period.

This report is the latest in an annual set of reports that the United States submits to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which sets an overall framework for intergovernmental efforts to tackle the challenge posed by climate change.

In preparing the official U.S. greenhouse gas inventory report, EPA leads an interagency team that includes the Department of Energy, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Defense, the State Department, and others.

The inventory team at EPA, which collaborates with hundreds of experts representing federal agencies, academic institutions, industry associations, consultants, and environmental organizations, is comprised of internationally recognized experts on greenhouse gas inventories and methods. The team plays an integral role in fulfilling the U.S. requirements under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The "Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2004" report: