Carbon emissions up as Trump agenda rolls back climate change work

Carbon emissions up as Trump agenda rolls back climate change work

Preliminary estimates show USA carbon emissions rose by 3.4 percent in 2018, the biggest increase in eight years.

The Paris Agreement, which was first signed in 2015, is an global agreement to control and limit climate change.

Biodiesel-blended heating oil known as Bioheat is one effective drop-in solution for reducing noxious and greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, which is an important sector considering Rhodium Group's research demonstrates that the largest growth in USA carbon emissions previous year took place in buildings and industry.

The increase in emissions could be the second-largest in the past 20 years.

"I don't think you would have seen the same increase" without the Trump administration's rollbacks, Trevor Houser, a partner at Rhodium, told the Washington Post. Natural-gas fired power emits about half as much carbon as coal but still contributes to climate change.

Perhaps most alarmingly, the increase in carbon emissions has put emissions targets under the Paris Agreement - which the United States has formally withdrawn from - further out of reach.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Transportation remains the top contributor to US CO2 emissions What contributed the most? While the numbers are still preliminary, if they pan out, that would make 2018 the biggest coal plant closure year on record.

Official figures of total greenhouse gas emissions will not be published until 2020 by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Coal plants are shutting down, but electricity demand is growing.

The EPA in a statement on December 28 said it is "providing regulatory certainty by transparently and accurately taking account of both costs and benefits".

Republican control of the Senate and White House means federal climate initiatives are unlikely to be enacted in 2019, but a number of states could take action on clean energy following Democrat gains in the November elections a year ago.

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Elgie Holstein, Senior Director for Strategic Planning of the Environmental Defense Fund, tells Salon this report is a "sobering reminder" that, while scientists are warning the world to act quickly on climate change, the Trump administration is working trying to dismantle previously established safeguards. But the Trump administration has moved to reverse or weaken them. Instead, he is actively making a bad situation worse with his backwards policies and lies.

Biodiesel is one commercially available, known solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to almost 90 percent compared to petroleum diesel, yet the federal government continues to set annual renewable volume obligations for biodiesel in the Renewable Fuel Standard well below volumes the USA biodiesel industry can produce.

In the 2015 climate accord, then President Barack Obama committed to reducing United States emissions to at least 26% under 2005 levels by 2025.

The early estimates reinforce the sense that the USA faces a steep challenge in trying to rein in greenhouse gas emissions that are second only to China's.

The report showed emissions from industry, including chemicals, refineries, steel, and cement, rose by 5.7%.

The American Petroleum Institute, the top lobbying organisation for the US oil and gas industry, says it does not take a position on forming a carbon tax.

Rising emissions are not just a USA problem.

Rhodium said the boost from the world's second-biggest carbon emitter after China could make it harder for the United States to meet reductions targets it set under the Paris Agreement in 2015.

However, this may not matter for the USA since President Donald Trump announced he would be pulling out of the agreement in 2020.

With the growing replacement of coal by natural gas and renewable energy, however, fossil fuel emissions have decreased, declining every year over the last three years. The Environmental Protection Agency is now working to finalize proposals that would roll back carbon emissions on automobiles and new and existing power plants, as well as reduce pollution rules for industrial facilities and oil and gas drilling.

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