Despite a 1.3% increase in US greenhouse gas emissions in 2022, there were still glimmers of hope to be found, according to Rhodium Group’s findings.
The United States recently failed to meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study from the Rhodium Group. Their analysis revealed that US emissions rose slightly in 2022 by 1.3% compared to 2021, marking the second consecutive year of increases following a 10.6% pandemic-induced drop in 2020. This comes after two years of declines: in 2019, natural reductions caused emissions to decrease by 1.3% before lockdowns forced everyone indoors and led to an increase.
Renewable energies generate more than 22% of the total electric power produced in the US. The recent figures were partially driven by higher electricity consumption due to record-high summer temperatures, which saw the share of natural gas used for electric generation rise from 37% to 39%. Coal, however, experienced some major disruptions – railroads transporting coal were affected, leading to an 8% drop in coal generation and a 19% increase in its price year-over-year – resulting in renewables surpassing it for the first time since 1960.
Despite these positive changes, GHG emissions still outpaced expected GDP growth for 2022 (1.9%), demonstrating that economic progress can be achieved without increasing pollution levels. In order to get back on track with meeting their Paris Agreement goals – reducing GHG emissions 50%-52% below 2005 levels by 2030 – the US must significantly increase their efforts beyond what has been done so far; this includes passing legislation such as the Inflation Reduction Act which focuses on both greenhouses gasses and natural gas provisions, as well as engaging private actors who may be able to contribute towards this ambitious target.
In conclusion, even though there are encouraging signs that climate change is being taken seriously by various stakeholders in the US today, more needs to be done if they want to meet their Paris Agreement goals within the timeframe outlined. In that case, additional policies must be implemented quickly if they wish to become a leader in climate action instead of lagging behind other countries that have already made huge strides toward clean energy solutions and carbon neutrality plans. Then only, sustainable development will only become a reality instead of a goal or dream.
Jonas Muthoni is an entrepreneur and renewable energy expert. He is the founder of MicroGridMedia.com, a website dedicated to bringing the latest news and information about solar energy and other renewable energy sources to the public. Jonas is passionate about promoting sustainable energy solutions and educating the public about the benefits of renewable energy. He is a regular speaker at industry events and conferences and is committed to driving the transition to a cleaner and more sustainable energy future.