US EPA seeks public comment on greenhouse gas inventory
The US Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public comment on a draft annual report that analyzes sources of greenhouse gas emissions. The report, Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2006, will be open for public comment for 30 days after the Federal Register notice is published.
The major finding in this year's draft report is that overall emissions during 2006 decreased by 1.5 percent from the previous year.
This decrease was due primarily to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions associated with fuel and electricity consumption. Total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2006 were about 7,202million metric tons of CO2 equivalent.
These gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride. Overall, emissions have grown by 14.1 percent from 1990 to 2006 while the U.S. economy has grown by 59 percent over the same period.
The inventory tracks annual greenhouse gas emissions at the national level and presents historical emissions from 1990 to 2006.
The inventory also calculates carbon dioxide emissions that are removed from the atmosphere by 'sinks,' e.g., through the uptake of carbon by forests, vegetation, and soils.
EPA prepares the annual report in collaboration with experts from multiple federal agencies.
After responding to public comments, the U.S. government will submit the final inventory report to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, fulfilling its annual requirement as a party to this international treaty on climate change.
The UNFCCC treaty, ratified by the United States in 1992, sets an overall framework for intergovernmental efforts to tackle the challenge posed by climate change.