U.S. energy related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions decreased 3.8 percent in 2012, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Carbon emissions have decreased 12.2 percent from 2007 to 2012.
The decline in energy-related CO2 emissions occurred while the economy was growing in 2012. The gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased 2.8 percent in 2012, while energy consumption decreased 2.4 percent, or 2.4 quadrillion Btu, the same year. The result was a 5.1 percent decline in energy use per dollar of GDP, and this meant emissions were about 282million metric tons CO2 lower.
Half of the overall energy decline were in the residential sector with 1,213 trillion Btu, or 5.7 percent, thanks to a warm first quarter that lowered energy demand and emissions. Coal-to-gas conversions also helped to lower emissions last year, the report said.
Despite the overall decrease in renewable power generation in 2012, the carbon intensity still fell by 3.5 percent, largely due to the decrease in coal-fired generation and the increase in natural gas-fired generation.
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