Climate change is an urgent and pressing issue that affects our planet and threatens the health and well-being of people and ecosystems. One of the major drivers of climate change is the emission of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), into the atmosphere. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the greenhouse gas emissions in economic sectors are divided into 5 groups. These emissions come from transportation, industry, electric power, agriculture, and buildings (commercial and residential). To better understand, let’s dive deeper to understand what is going on.
The transportation sector is the largest contributor to CO2 emissions, accounting for around 28% of US greenhouse gas emissions. This sector includes emissions from road, air, and sea transportation. According to The Congressional Budget Office, in 2021, worldwide emissions of greenhouse gasses from all sources amounted to 40.8 billion metric tons (BMT).
Electric power is the second-largest source of CO2 emissions, with around 25% of US greenhouse gas emissions. Around 60% of the electricity we generate is produced by fossil fuels, with coal and natural gas being the primary sources.
Industry is the third-largest contributor to CO2 emissions, accounting for around 23% of US greenhouse gas emissions. This sector includes emissions from the manufacturing of goods, construction, and chemical processes.
Residential and Commercial Buildings
Greenhouse gas emissions from businesses and homes are a significant contributor to climate change. These emissions mostly stem from the combustion of fossil fuels to generate heat and electricity, the use of products that contain greenhouse gasses such as refrigerants and aerosols, and the disposal of waste that produces methane gas. Residential and commercial buildings account for around 13% of US greenhouse gas emissions.
The land use sector includes emissions from deforestation and the degradation of forests, as well as emissions from agriculture and other land uses. This sector accounts for around 11% of US greenhouse gas emissions.
For a better future, it requires transitioning to cleaner sources of energy, improving the efficiency of our transportation systems, and reducing emissions from industry, land use, and buildings. It is crucial that we take action now to create a more sustainable and resilient future for ourselves and for the planet.