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Market snapshot: US energy-related CO2 emissions fell in 2015

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Market snapshot: US energy-related CO2 emissions fell in 2015

Afterrising in 2013 and in 2014, energy-related CO2 emissions in the United States fellin 2015, the Energy Information Administration said May 9. In its "" report, theagency said that energy-related CO2 emissions in 2015 came in 12% below 2005 levels.

The EIAlargely attributed the drop in emissions to changes in the power sector, due mainlyto a decreased use of coal and an increased use of natural gas to generate electricity.From 2005 to 2015, fuel-switching in the electricity sector has accounted for 68%of the total energy-related reductions in CO2.

"Theamount of CO2 emissions in the primary (non-electricity) energy mix of end-use sectorshas also changed. In the residential and commercial sectors, primary energy suchas natural gas is used mainly for space heating, water heating, and cooking. Inthe industrial sector, many processes rely on the direct consumption of fossil fuelsto produce heat. Most of the energy consumed in the transportation sector is primaryenergy in the form of motor gasoline, diesel fuel, and jet fuel," the EIA said.

On ayearly basis, the weather and the economy impact changes in CO2 emissions. Amidthe economic recession back in 2008-2009, the U.S. saw the greatest yearly dropin energy-related CO2 emissions during that time in the past 10 years.

Takinginto account inflation, the economy in 2015 has grown by 15% from 2005, "butthe U.S. energy intensities and carbon intensities have both declined. On a per-dollarof gross domestic product (GDP) basis, in 2015, the United States used 15% lessenergy per unit of GDP and produced 23% fewer energy-related CO2 emissions per unitof GDP, compared with the energy and emissions per dollar of GDP in 2005,"the EIA said.