Preliminary U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Estimates For 2021

Based on preliminary data for 2021, Rhodium Group estimates that economy-wide GHG emissions increased 6.2% relative to 2020, though emissions remained 5% below 2019 levels. Rhodium Group does not have final estimates of overall economic growth for 2021, but current estimates put year-on-year GDP growth at 5.7%. This indicates that GHG emissions rebounded slightly faster than the overall economy in 2021, largely due to a jump in coal-fired power generation, which increased 17% from 2020, and a rapid rebound in road transportation (primarily freight). As a result, progress in reducing US GHG emissions was reversed in 2021, moving from 22.2% below 2005 levels in 2020 to only 17.4% in 2021, putting the US even further off track from achieving its 2025 and 2030 climate targets.

By Alfredo Rivera, Kate Larsen, Hannah Pitt, and Shweta Movalia. Rhodium Group. January 10, 2022.

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