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US emissions increased in 2021 as coal-fired generation surges

  • 9 days ago (2022-01-12)
  • David Flin
Coal 203 Emissions 34 North America 900

A report from the research firm Rhodium Group said that US emissions jumped last year from the low levels caused by Covid lockdowns in 2020. This was largely because of soaring coal-fired power generation in America.

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US greenhouse gas emissions increased by 6.2 per cent in 2021 compared to 2020. Emissions remained 5 per cent below pre-pandemic levels, but Rhodium Group said that greenhouse gas emissions rose faster than the growth in the US economy last year, largely due to a 17 per cent increase in coal-fired power generation.

The Rhodium Group said that the main driver of the jump in coal use for power generation in America last year was the fact that natural gas prices more than doubled in 2021 compared to 2020.

It said in the report: “The uptick in GHG emissions in 2021 moves the country even further from meeting its Paris Agreement climate target of reducing emissions 50-52 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. In 2020, due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, emissions fell to 22.2 per cent below 2005. In 2021, US emissions ticked up to 17.4 per cent below 2005 levels.”