Emissions from coal-burning power plant (Credit: U.S. Department of Energy)
The U.S. Energy Information Administration released a report on Oct. 21 detailing the nation’s emissions of carbon dioxide in 2012, according to USA Today. The figures show a 3.8 percent decline, in spite of a growing economy.
Much of the reduction came through a steady transition from coal-burning to cleaner natural gas, the report says. The winter months were also warmer, which may have helped further dampen energy use.
Though U.S. emissions are at their lowest levels since 1994, major developing countries like China and India are using more coal and oil. Their emissions are contributing to a global rise in emissions that add to the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which was at 393 parts per million in September 2013.
Image: Emissions from coal-burning power plant (Credit: U.S. Department of Energy)