Greenhouse gases in U.S. show decline, new report says

04/16/2014 6:07 PM

04/16/2014 6:07 PM

Bleak warnings about climate change and man-made pollution finally have brought about some good news.

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell 10 percent from 2005 to 2010, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The cause cited in the 19th annual emissions tally from the U.S. to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change is decreased energy use across all sectors of the U.S. economy along with an increasing switch from coal to cleaner fuels such as natural gas.

Increased fuel efficiency in vehicles and a limited new demand for passenger transportation also was cited in the report as being responsible for the emissions reduction. More fuel efficient cars and trucks from 2012 through 2025 over the lifetime of the vehicles should save Americans more than $1.7 trillion, the report said.

The U.S. has 2005 as its benchmark year and hopes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent by 2020, Reuters reports. The United Nations had said nations of the world had to do more and work faster for the sake of the planet to keep climate change in check.

The EPA report showed that greenhouse gas in the U.S. dropped 3.4 percent from 2011 to 2012.

“Greenhouse gases are the primary driver of climate change, leading to increased heat-related illnesses and deaths; worsening the air pollution that can cause asthma attacks and other respiratory problems; and expanding the ranges of disease-spreading insects,” the EPA report said. “Climate change is also affecting the frequency and intensity of heat waves, droughts and other extreme weather events.”

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