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

January 05, 2005

U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Increased Moderately in 2003

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions increased by 0.7 percent in 2003, from 6,891 million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent in 2002 to 6,936 in 2003, according to "Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States 2003," a report released in mid-December by DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA). The 2003 increase is well below the rate of economic growth of 3.0 percent and below the average annual growth rate of 1.0 percent in greenhouse gas emissions since 1990. Emissions of carbon dioxide and methane increased by 0.8 percent and 0.5 percent respectively, while emissions of nitrous oxide and engineered gases (such as refrigerants) fell by 0.9 and 0.3 percent respectively. See the EIA press release.

As EIA released its report on greenhouse gas trends, DOE announced a new agreement with the U.S. power sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. DOE signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Power Partners—a group comprising the American Public Power Association, the Edison Electric Institute, the Electric Power Supply Association, the Large Public Power Council, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Nuclear Energy Institute, and the Tennessee Valley Authority—establishing a voluntary framework for reducing the greenhouse gas emission intensity of U.S. power generation. Power Partners have pledged to reduce collectively the power sector's greenhouse gas emissions intensity by an equivalent of 3 to 5 percent (measured as emissions per unit of electricity produced) below 2000 to 2002 baseline levels, as measured over the 2010 to 2012 period.

Power Partners is one of 13 trade associations or business groups taking part in the President's Climate VISION program, an initiative with the goal of reducing the greenhouse gas emissions intensity of the U.S. economy (measured as carbon-equivalent emissions per unit of economic output) by 18 percent between 2002 and 2012. See the DOE press release.