EIA expects 7% increase in U.S. energy-sector carbon dioxide emissions

Increased economic activity and a changing fuel mix in the electric power sector in 2021 will lead to a significant increase in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions this year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) August Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO). After decreasing by 11% in 2020, U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions will increase by 7% to reach 4.9 billion metric tons this year.

EIA forecasts coal-related CO2 emissions will increase by 17% in 2021 because the share of U.S. electricity generated by coal has increased significantly this year.

“Despite significant growth in energy-related CO2 emissions as the U.S. economy opens up, we don’t see these emissions returning to pre-pandemic levels, at least in the short term,” said EIA Acting Administrator Steve Nalley.

EIA expects overall energy-related CO2 emissions to increase an additional 1% in 2022, and emissions from coal to decrease 7%.

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