US Carbon Emissions Soared in 2018

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Via the Washington Post, here’s our first estimate of the change in CO2 emissions in the United States in 2018:

This comes from the Rhodium Group, which adds the following comments:

  • “We estimate that energy-related CO2 emissions increased by 3.4% in 2018. That’s the second largest annual gain since 1996.”
  • “The largest emissions growth in 2018 occurred in the two sectors most often ignored in clean energy and climate policymaking: buildings and industry. We estimate that direct emissions from residential and commercial buildings (from sources such as fuel oil, diesel and natural gas combusted on site for heating and cooking) increased by 10% in 2018 to their highest level since 2004.”
  • “At the state and federal level few good strategies have been implemented to begin decoupling production from emissions. Our preliminary estimates suggest the industrial sector posted the largest emissions gains in 2018 at 55 million metric tons.”

Meeting the Paris Accord levels for CO2 emissions is all but impossible now, which is no surprise since Republicans in Congress won’t allow any policy changes to address climate change. And as we dither, the global concentration of CO2 continues to accelerate. The pre-industrial average was about 280 ppm and increased by only 40 ppm in the thousand years before 1958. Then, over the past 60 years, it increased by 95 ppm. In 2018 alone it increased by 3.43 ppm through November, which is a record since measurements began. And still we dither.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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