U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in April fell to their lowest level, according to the U.S Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) records dating back to 1973, as coronavirus-led travel curbs limited energy consumption.
CO2 emissions in April fell to 307 million metric tons as virus-led stay-at-home orders decreased petroleum usage and shifted electricity consumption from commercial and industrial sectors to residential sector, the EIA said in a report on Friday.
“The largest decreases in CO2 emissions in April occurred in the transportation sector,” the EIA said, adding, stay-at home orders and other travel curbs reduced consumption of motor gasoline, the most used petroleum fuel in the United States, and jet fuel.
In April, CO2 emissions from petroleum and coal consumption fell to their record low, declining 25% and 16%, month-on-month, respectively, the report showed.
Emissions from motor gasoline consumption, which accounted for 57% of transportation sector emissions in 2019, fell to a record-low 59 million metric tons.
Travel on U.S. roads in April fell 39.8% year-on-year, while U.S. airlines carried 3 million passengers, a staggering 96% decline from the same time a year ago, the U.S. Transportation Department said in June. [nL1N2DL1F0][nL1N2DN1DT]
However, emissions from natural gas were 22% higher than the corresponding month of last year.
A larger share of power generation came from natural gas-fired plants and renewable energy powered plants, while coal-fired plants have retired or been used less often, according to the report.
The EIA forecasts emissions to increase through the reminder of 2020 but expects it to be 11% lower than the previous year, the report added.