Washington: U.S. greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2 percent in 2010 from the previous year amid economic growth and higher electricity demand from high summer temperatures, the Environmental Protection Agency said on Monday.
The world's second-biggest emitter behind China produced 6.8 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent of all six greenhouse gases, the EPA said.
As a signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United States is required to submit an annual inventory of its greenhouse gas emissions based on data collected across numerous federal agencies.
Greenhouse gas output from other major emitters Japan and Russia also rose in the same time period, according to the inventories they submitted last week to the UNFCCC.
The inventory showed that since 1990, the baseline year that countries that agreed to mandatory greenhouse gas targets under the Kyoto Protocol, U.S. emissions have increased at an average annual rate of 0.5 percent.
Overall, U.S. emissions have increased by 10.5 from 1990 levels in 2010.
The U.S., however, is not a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol and has instead pledged it would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.
In 2010, the United States emitted 5.3 percent fewer greenhouse gases than in 2005 when it produced 7.2 billion tonnes.
The U.S. emitted its second-highest level of greenhouse gas emissions in the 1990-2010 period in 2005.
Its biggest emitting year in that 20-year period was 2007, a year before the global financial crisis hit, when the U.S. emitted 7.3 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases.
First Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2012, 10:45