Last year, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions rose 6.2% compared to 2020 levels, according to a new report by . The leap leaves the country even further behind in meeting the reduction targets presented by . Under the agreement, the US has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions between 50% and 52% below 2005 levels by 2030. Last year, they were 17.4% below that benchmark. This is a step back from the 22.2% reduction the country had achieved in the previous year.
Behind the rise in global emissions were corresponding jumps in pollution generated by the country’s transport and energy sectors. Compared to 2021, these sectors generated an additional 10% and 6.6% of greenhouse gas emissions. Driving these increases was a 17% increase in reliance on coal-generated power and more people driving after a pandemic-related slowdown.
The report underscores the importance of the US cleaning up its electricity grid and transportation sector. Another recent study found that wind and solar energy could meet the country’s current electricity needs. Whether the US fulfills its Paris Agreement commitments will depend on whether the country manages to mobilize investment as part of policies like President Biden’s. . The fate of the bill is , but what is clear is that the technology exists to enable a clean transition. , natural gas was never more affordable and yet it was still more expensive than .
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