US greenhouse gas emission shoots up

Published: Friday 31 March 2006

US's greenhouse gas emissions shot up by 1.7 per cent in 2004 over the previous year, the country's Environmental Protection Agency (epa) has reported.

The epa report, Inventory of us Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2004, was released on February 27, 2006. It states that the rise is due to increased combustion of fossil fuel as well as carbon dioxide emissions. Fossil fuel combustion accounted for 80 per cent of the total emissions that accounts for 7,075 million metric tonnes equivalent of carbon dioxide, the report says.

In addition to carbon dioxide, other greenhouse gases considered for estimation include methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride. The report further shows that the greenhouse gas emissions in the us grew by 15.8 per cent from 1990 to 2004.

Had the us signed the Kyoto Protocol, it would have been expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2 percent of its 1990 levels, between 2008 and 2012. But, President George Bush refused to sign the pact to which 156 countries are party in 2001, saying it would harm his country's economy. In December 2005, the us indicated that it might consider joining the international treaty for controlling heat-trapping gases after its first phase (after 2012), but only if the text of the protocol is watered down and would not lead to mandatory emissions caps.

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