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Industry emissions down, transportation up

July 21, 2016

While industry in the U.S. has made solid strides in reducing greenhouse gas emissions over the past 25 years, the transportation sector has increased its carbon footprint, according to UMTRI researchers. 
Industry, still the nation's largest emitter, accounts for about 29 percent of all emissions—down from nearly 36 percent in 1990. However, transportation—the country's second-largest contributor to greenhouse emissions—has increased its share from 24 percent in 1990 to 27 percent in 2014. 
The relative contributions of the commercial, residential and agricultural sectors have also increased since 1990. Emissions are now about 17 percent for the commercial sector, 17 percent for the residential sector and 10 percent for agriculture. 
UMTRI research professor Michael Sivak said that these overall trends occurred because of two underlying trends: 1) absolute emissions from the industrial sector decreased by 11 percent, despite the increases in population and GDP, and 2) the absolute emissions from transportation, commercial, residential and agricultural sectors increased 17 percent, 21 percent, 20 percent and 10 percent, respectively. 
Sivak and colleague Brandon Schoettle examined data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 1990 to 2014.
Read the Michigan News article.