U.S greenhouse gas emissions dropped by 10.3% in 2020. According to a report, the country experiences the largest drop in emissions since World War II. The current pandemic has crippled the economy.
The United States’ economy falls out due to the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19, especially in large emitting sectors such as power, transportation, and industry. This has caused a larger drop in emissions than that of the 2009 recession.
This sharp decline indicates that the United States would exceed the pledge it made under the Copenhagen climate accord to ensure greenhouse gas emissions reduced by 17%. When compared with 2005, emissions will decline by 21.5%.
However, the report warned that the drop should not serve as an assurance that the U.S can easily meet its pledge under the Paris climate agreement to decrease emissions 28% below 2005 levels by 2025.
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Donald Trump’s administration withdrew the country from the Paris accord; however, President-elect Joe Biden maintained that he intends to rejoin the Paris Accord as soon as his inauguration holds on Jan. 20. He intends to make the country have net-zero emissions by 2050. However, he will need to set a target for reducing emissions by 2030.
With coronavirus vaccines now in distribution, we expect economic activity to pick up again in 2021, but without meaningful structural changes in the carbon intensity of the U.S. economy, emissions will likely rise again as well.the report
The report revealed that the reduction in U.S greenhouse gas emissions was first experienced by the transportation sector as there was a sharp reduction in emissions by 14.7% from 2019 levels as travel reduced especially when the pandemic began last March.