The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has forecasted that U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will decline by 11% in 2020.
If realized, this decline would represent the largest decline in not only percentage but also absolute terms in EIA’s energy-related CO2 series that dates back to 1949. In EIA’s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook, U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions are forecast to fall more than the 5% decline in gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020.
Much of the drop in CO2 emissions in EIA’s updated forecast arises from estimates of the travel restrictions and general economic slowdown associated with the efforts to mitigate the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). However, even before the effects of COVID-19 became apparent in mid-March, EIA had expected a decline in 2020 energy-related emissions, generally consistent with the trend of lower U.S. CO2 emissions since their peak in 2007.