SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 28 - Higher energy consumption and warmer weather drove up total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 3.3 percent to 6.866 billion tonnes between 2009 and 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said in its latest emissions inventory report released Monday.
After declining in both 2008 and 2009, greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel consumption rose 3.6 percent in 2010, according to the report.
“This trend is attributed to an increase in energy consumption across all economic sectors, due to increasing energy demand associated with an expansion in the economy,” the report said.
“There was also an increase in air conditioning use due to warmer summer weather during 2010,” it said.
Overall, U.S. emissions have grown by 11 percent from 1990 to 2010, increasing at an average annual rate of 0.5 percent.
The report demonstrates the challenges facing the U.S., which has pledged to the international community to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.
President Barack Obama has said the U.S. will continue to stick to the target, despite the fact that the U.S. Congress has failed to pass mandatory carbon capping legislation.
The EPA on Monday said it will take public comments on the inventory report for the next 30 days.
It will release a final version of the report in the spring, an EPA spokeswoman said.
Reporting by Rory Carroll