WASHINGTON - Energy-intensive industries that represent about 45 percent of United States greenhouse gas emissions cut their greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 9.4 percent from 2002 to 2006, according to a new U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) report. Greenhouse gas intensity is defined as the quantity of greenhouse gas emitted per unit of production, and decreases in emissions intensity generally reflect more energy-efficient production, but can also be due to decreased emissions of powerful greenhouse gases such as perfluorocarbon, sulfur hexafluoride, hydrofluorocarbons, and nitrogen trifluoride. The Climate VISION Progress Report 2007 examines the greenhouse gas emissions of the electric power industry and energy-intensive industries, including oil and gas; coal and mineral production and mining; forestry products; and the manufacturing of aluminum, automobiles, cement, chemicals, magnesium, semiconductors, and iron and steel.

Through their business associations and trade groups, all of these industries are participating in Climate VISION - Voluntary Innovative Sector Initiatives: Opportunities Now - a public-private partnership initiative launched five years ago to contribute to President Bush’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas intensity by 18 percent from 2002 to 2012. As one example, the energy intensity per ton of steel shipped improved by about 15 percent from 2002 to 2006.

The emissions intensity reductions reported by the power and industrial sectors are also reflected in greenhouse gas intensity data for the U.S. economy as a whole. A recent report from DOE’s Energy Information Administration estimated that from 2002 to 2006, U.S. greenhouse gas intensity fell by an average of 2.5 percent per year, for a total of nearly 10 percent. The report concludes that the drop in emissions intensity is due mainly to using less energy per unit of production rather than using lower-carbon fuels.

Publication date:03/03/2008