U.S. climate pollution increased 1.3% in 2022 over 2021, according to a report issued this morning by the Rhodium Group. The last eight years have been the hottest on record as the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels continue to heat the planet. Despite climate pollution increases in both of the last two years, U.S. climate pollution is still lower than it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2019, climate scientists warned global greenhouse gas pollution must fall by 7.6% per year until 2030 to meet the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature increases to 1.5°C (2.7°F) above preindustrial levels. While U.S. climate pollution rose overall, emissions from the electrical grid fell as renewable energy generation rose 12%. The report also shows the U.S. economy is becoming less carbon-intensive with an estimated GDP growth of 1.9%.
Despite actions taken to cut climate pollution, the U.S. — by far the world’s largest historical emitter of climate pollution — must act even faster to meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas pollution by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025, and by 50-52% below 2005 levels by 2030. (Boston Globe $, New York Times $, Washington Post $, Reuters, Canary Media, Bloomberg $, Grist, FT $; Last 8 years: New York Times $)