This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

February 20, 2008

Key Industries Cut Emissions Intensity by 9.4% in Four Years

Energy-intensive industries that represent about 45% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions cut their greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 9.4% from 2002 to 2006, according to a new DOE report. Greenhouse gas intensity is defined as the quantity of greenhouse gas emitted per unit of production, and decreases in emissions intensity generally reflect more energy-efficient production, but can also be due to decreased emissions of powerful greenhouse gases such as perfluorocarbon, sulfur hexafluoride, hydrofluorocarbons, and nitrogen trifluoride. The Climate VISION Progress Report 2007, released on February 11, examines the greenhouse gas emissions of the electric power industry and energy-intensive industries, including oil and gas; coal and mineral production and mining; forestry products; and the manufacturing of aluminum, automobiles, cement, chemicals, magnesium, semiconductors, and iron and steel.

Through their business associations and trade groups, all of these industries are participating in Climate VISION—Voluntary Innovative Sector Initiatives: Opportunities Now—a public-private partnership initiative launched five years ago to contribute to President Bush's goal of reducing greenhouse gas intensity by 18% from 2002 to 2012. As one example, the energy intensity per ton of steel shipped improved by about 15% from 2002 to 2006. See the DOE press release and the full progress report (PDF 1.9 MB). Download Adobe Reader.

The emissions intensity reductions reported by the power and industrial sectors is also reflected in greenhouse gas intensity data for the U.S. economy as a whole. A recent report from DOE's Energy Information Administration estimated that from 2002 to 2006, U.S. greenhouse gas intensity fell by an average of 2.5% per year, for a total of nearly 10%. The report concludes that the drop in emissions intensity is due mainly to using less energy per unit of production rather than using lower-carbon fuels. See the EIA report.