U.S. emissions jumped in 2021 as coal-fired power generation increased

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Emissions across the U.S. economy surged last year from low levels in 2020 due to COVID lockdowns, in large part due to the surge in coal-fired power generation in America, according to independent research provider Rhodium Group noted in a new report on Monday.

Greenhouse gas emissions in the United States increased by 6.2% in 2021 compared to 2020, said Rhodium Group in its preliminary estimates, which puts the United States even further to meet climate targets of the Biden administration.

Emissions remained 5% below pre-pandemic levels, Rhodium Group said, but noted that greenhouse gas emissions grew faster than the growth of the US economy last year, largely due to an increase in coal-fired electricity generation, which increased 17% from 2020, and a rapid rebound in road transport, mainly freight.

The electricity sector, which accounts for 28% of US net emissions, experienced the second largest increase in GHG emissions from 2020 levels. Last year, emissions from the electricity sector increased by 6% over the previous year, but were still 4% below 2019 levels. The increase in emissions from the sector is due to a sharp increase in coal production, which increased for the first year-over-year since 2014, according to the US Energy Information Administration, said Rhodium Group.

The price of natural gas more than doubled in 2021 compared to 2020 was the main driver of the rise in the use of coal for power generation in America last year, the research group added.

“The rise in GHG emissions in 2021 takes the country further away from the Paris Agreement climate target of reducing emissions by 50 to 52% from 2005 levels by 2030,” Rhodium said Group in the report.

“In 2020, due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, emissions fell 22.2% below 2005 levels. In 2021, US emissions reached 17.4% below levels of 2005 “, he added.

“We really need to increase the annual emission reductions; we can’t have years of emissions growth anymore,” said Kate Larsen, partner at Rhodium Group and co-author of the report. CNN.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for OilUSD

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