October 17, 2022
WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released 2021 greenhouse gas (GHG) data collected under the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP). There has been an overall long-term decreasing trend in industry GHG emissions since 2011, primarily driven by a decrease in emissions from power plants. In 2021, reported emissions from large industrial sources were approximately 4% higher than in 2020, reflecting an increase in economic activity following the economic slowdown and decrease in emissions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As the United States makes strides to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address the climate crisis, good data are more important than ever,” said Joseph Goffman, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “The Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program is supporting these efforts by providing high-quality, long-term data for the largest emitters, and contributing important insights into greenhouse gas emissions trends.”
More than 8,100 industrial facilities reported greenhouse gas emissions in 2021 to EPA. The data show that in 2021:
- Power plants were the largest stationary source of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, with 1,326 facilities reporting approximately 1.6 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. While reported power plant emissions increased by 6.3% between 2020 and 2021, they have fallen 28.5% since 2011, reflecting the long-term shifts in power sector fuel-stock from coal to natural gas.
- Petroleum and natural gas systems were the second largest stationary source of emissions, reporting 312 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Reported emissions for 2021 were 0.7% lower than in 2020, but 12.8% higher than 2016. (2016 is the earliest year of comparable data for this sector, as new industry segments began reporting that year.)
- Reported direct emissions from other large sources in the industrial and waste sectors were a combined 807 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2021, up 1.8% from 2020, and down 7.7% since 2011.
With this year’s data publication, GHGRP is releasing a new National Federal Lands mapping layer to EPA’s user-friendly online tool for presenting GHGRP data, the Facility Level Information on Greenhouse gases Tool (FLIGHT). The mapping layer will allow users to view GHGRP reporting facilities in proximity to National Federal Lands, or any land other than tribal lands that are controlled or owned by the United States. Additionally, EPA has updated the demographic mapping layer in FLIGHT, using census tract information drawn from EPA’s EJScreen 2.0. Although the emissions reported to EPA by reporting facilities are global pollutants, many of these facilities also release pollutants that have a more direct and local impact in the surrounding communities.
EPA will be holding an informational webinar to demonstrate its internet-based greenhouse gas data publication tools, including new features and a tutorial on common searches, on October 19, 2022. For more information, and to register for the webinar visit EPA’s GHGRP webpage.
This is the twelfth year of data collection for most sectors under the GHGRP. As directed by Congress, EPA collects annual, facility-level emissions data from major industrial sources, including power plants, oil and gas production, iron and steel mills, and landfills. GHGRP also collects activity data from upstream fossil fuel and industrial gas suppliers. More than 8,100 direct emitters and suppliers report GHG data to GHGRP.
A complete accounting of total U.S. GHG emissions is available through a separate EPA report, the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks.
View the new data directly in FLIGHT.
Learn more about climate change.