US emissions dropped 1.7% last year
US carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions fell 1.7% last year when compared to 2015 driven by a flood of shale natural gas supply and renewable power increasingly displacing coal, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said.
The only area where emissions from burning fossil fuels climbed in 2016 was in the transportation sector, which registered a 1.9% increase, the agency said.
Energy-related CO2 emissions had fallen 2.7% between 2014 and 2015 in line with a decade-long trend that saw them decreasing 14% between 2005 and 2016.
“Both oil and natural gas consumption were higher in 2016 than in 2015, while coal consumption was significantly lower,” the EIA’s said in the report.
“Consistent with changes in fuel consumption, energy-related CO2 emissions in 2016 from petroleum and natural gas increased 1.1 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively, while coal-related emissions decreased 8.6 percent,” it added.
Since taking office on January 20, US President Donald Trump has announced a series of rules aimed boosting the country’s oil, gas and coal sectors, which has suffered in the past years due to low prices and increased competition from alternative energy sources, as well as legislation to curb carbon emissions.
Last month, he approved the construction of TransCanada’s (TSX, NYSE:TRP) long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline, which will carry more than one-fifth of Canadian oil exports from Alberta to Texas. The move was highly criticized by environmentalist as that kind of crude is one of the world’s most carbon-intensive fuels.