US Carbon Emissions Soared in 2018

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

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.

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate