More greenhouse gas emission reductions reported to EIA in 2002

Jan. 30, 2004 — A total of 228 U.S. companies and other entities reported to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Program that they had undertaken 2,027 projects to reduce or sequester greenhouse gases in 2002, according to “Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases 2002”, released Friday by EIA.

Expressed as a percentage of estimated total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2002, reported direct project-level emission reductions represented 3.9 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, up from 3.2 percent in 2001.

Reported indirect project-level reductions were 1.1 percent (1.0 percent in 2001), unspecified project-level reductions corresponded to 0.3 percent (0.2 percent in 2001), and project-level carbon sequestration represented 0.1 percent.

Direct reductions are emission reductions from sources owned or leased by the reporting entity, while indirect reductions are emission reductions from sources not owned or leased by the reporting entity but that occur as a result of the entity’s activities.

The Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Program, required by Section 1605(b) of the Energy Policy Act of 1992, is intended to both encourage and recognize innovative, low-cost, and nonregulatory approaches to limit emissions of greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases, which include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), absorb infrared energy and prevent it from leaving the atmosphere.

The electric power sector, with 99 companies reporting, continued to provide the largest number of participants to the program. Reporters included nearly all of the largest electricity generating utilities.

The companies reported projects such as improved plant efficiencies, cogeneration, use of non-fossil fuels such as nuclear and renewable fuels, and demand-side management programs that reduce power use by their customers. Other projects cover many different approaches to reducing or offsetting emissions, including activities such as methane recovery projects at landfills, urban forestry, and worldwide tree planting projects.

The number of participants from outside the electric power sector (129 reporters) was ten times the number that reported for 1994, the first year of the Program. These companies now comprise more than half (57 percent) of the reporters to the program and include firms engaged in automobile manufacturing, petroleum production and refining, coal mining, food processing, textile manufacturing, primary metals production, electronic and electrical equipment manufacturing, and the chemical industry.

Also reporting on projects were alternative energy providers, agriculture and forestry organizations, and organizations in other sectors (government, commercial, and residential).

Project-level emission reductions reported to the Program, included 265 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) in direct emission reductions, 79 MMTCO2e in indirect emission reductions, and 7 million metric tons of reductions from carbon sequestration.

In addition, 17 million metric tons of reductions were reported under the EIA 1605EZ form, which does not ask whether reported reductions are direct reductions or indirect reductions.

Relative to project-level reductions reported for 2001, direct emission reductions increased by 7 percent, indirect reductions grew by 11 percent and unspecified reductions expanded by 16 percent, while carbon sequestration fell by 8 percent. The figure below illustrates the growth in reported reductions since the Program’s inception in 1994.

An electronic version of the full report “Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases 2002”, can be downloaded from EIA’s web site at: A Summary version of the report can be downloaded from

Printed copies of the Summary report are expected to be available in late February from EIA’s National Energy Information Center, 202/586-8800.

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