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U.S. methane emissions 1990-2018

Since 1990, methane (CH4) emissions have been gradually decreasing in the United States. By 2018, emissions had fallen to 634.5 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent (MtCO2e) from the 774 million MtCO2e measured at the beginning of the reporting period. Methane is the main component of natural gas, and if released before being burned, such as from a leak, it can pose a significant environmental impact.
Whilst carbon dioxide emissions are higher in the United states, methane actually warms the planet quicker than CO2 because it is more effective at trapping heat.

In August 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump reversed standards that required the oil and gas industry to detect and fix methane leaks in a bid to mitigate global warming. This industry is the main source of the pollutant.

Methane (CH4) emissions in the United States from 1990 to 2018 (in million MtCO2e)*

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Release date

April 2020


United States

Survey time period

1990 to 2018

Supplementary notes

*Figures have been rounded

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