US carbon dioxide emissions - 1999

provided by Energy Information Administration, US Department of Energy

arbon dioxide emissions in the United States from burning fossil fuels rose by 1.0 percent in 1999, increasing from 1,495 million metric tons of carbon (MMTC) in 1998 to 1,511 MMTC in 1999, according to preliminary estimates released today by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). While the 1999 growth rate of 1.0 percent was slightly below the average annual growth rate of 1.2 percent observed from 1990 to 1999, it was higher than the 1998 growth rate of 0.1 percent. Carbon dioxide emissions account for over 80 percent of US greenhouse gas emissions and are a good early indicator of the level of, and rate of change in, total US greenhouse gas emissions.

On a sector level, transportation-related carbon dioxide emissions, which account for about a third of total carbon dioxide emissions, increased by 2.9 percent in 1999 as a healthy economy encouraged travel and the delivery of goods. Carbon dioxide emissions in the residential and commercial sectors, meanwhile, increased by 0.4 percent and declined by 0.4 percent, respectively. Despite rapid growth of the economy, energy-related industrial carbon dioxide emissions in 1999 increased by only 0.2 percent. A preliminary qualitative analysis of underlying economic trends indicates that this small increase may be due to below normal growth in the energy-intensive industries.

A preliminary EIA analysis also reveals that total US carbon dioxide emissions could have been up to 29 MMTC higher had normal weather and non-fossil fuel generation patterns existed in 1999. Higher carbon dioxide emissions (+3 MMTC) due to increased electricity consumption during the hotter-than-normal summer were more than offset by reduced carbon dioxide emissions (- 15 MMTC) from a warmer-than-normal winter that lowered the consumption of heating fuels. Overall, the warmer-than-normal weather meant that carbon dioxide emissions were reduced by about 12 MMTC. Also, record nuclear power generation (-12 MMTC) and above-average hydroelectric power generation (-5 MMTC) reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 17 MMTC due to the displacement of fossil fuel power generation.

The EIA will continue to refine its estimates of 1999 carbon dioxide emissions as more complete energy data become available. A full inventory of 1999 emissions of all greenhouse gases will be available in October from EIA using revised energy data and providing a further analysis of trends.

The preliminary estimates are on EIA's web site at:

The report described in this press release was prepared by the Energy Information Administration, the independent statistical and analytical agency within the US Department of Energy. The information contained in the report and the press release should be attributed to the Energy Information Administration and should not be construed as advocating or reflecting any policy position of the Department of Energy or any other organization.