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Environmental Protection & Preservation


EPA Seeks Public Comment on U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory


The US Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public comment on a draft report that analyzes sources of greenhouse gas emissions. The report, Inventory of US Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2005, will be open for public comment for 30 days after the Federal Register notice is published.

After responding to public comments, EPA will submit, through the U.S. Department of State, the final inventory report to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, fulfilling its annual requirement as a party to this international treaty on climate change. The UNFCCC treaty, ratified by the United States in 1992, sets an overall framework for intergovernmental efforts to tackle the challenge posed by climate change.

The inventory tracks annual greenhouse gas emissions at the national level and presents historical emissions from 1990 to 2005. The inventory also calculates carbon dioxide emissions that are removed from the atmosphere by "sinks," e.g., through the uptake of carbon by forests, vegetation, and soils.

EPA prepared the annual report in collaboration with experts from multiple federal agencies. The major finding in the draft report is that overall emissions during 2005 increased by less than one percent from the previous year. Total emissions of the six main greenhouse gases in 2005 were equivalent to 7,262 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. These gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride. The draft report indicates that overall emissions have grown by 16 percent from 1990 to 2005, while the U.S. economy has grown by 55 percent over the same period. Information on the draft 2007 report and how to submit public comments.





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