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U.S. carbon emissions are on the rise

Data: Rhodium Group U.S. Climate Service analysis; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Economy-wide U.S. greenhouse gas emissions grew by between 1.5% to 2.5% in 2018, according to a just-published estimate from the Rhodium Group consultancy.

Why it matters: The data underscores how the U.S. is off-track for meeting its pledge under the Paris climate agreement, which is to cut these emissions by 26%–28% below 2005 levels by 2025.

The intrigue: While President Trump is pulling the U.S. out of the Paris agreement, his Democratic challengers for 2020 would reverse that decision. But this new information highlights how difficult it would be to honor the goals.

The big picture: The recent increase leaves total U.S. emissions at 10.7% to 11.6% below 2005 levels in 2018, the consultancy estimates.

  • Their research note also shows that emissions ticked up in all the biggest categories: power (which has largely been declining for years), transportation (the biggest source), industry and buildings.

Go deeper: Why cutting carbon emissions from transportation is so difficult