Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the United States
There are several different types of gas emissions which have the potential to induce climate change, the most egregious of which are black carbon minimum and black carbon maximum. The good news is that greenhouse gas emissions in the United States have experienced a decrease between 2014 and 2017, indicating that economic growth is not necessarily tied to emissions. In 2005, over 7.34 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents were released into the atmosphere by the United States, and by 2017 this figure had dropped to 6.47 billion metric tons. Forests, for example, can act as a critical carbon sink but its capacity to take in carbon has been mitigated by deforestation and forest degradation.
U.S. Renewable Energy Sector
Renewable energy has the potential to significantly reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions currently released by fossil fuel combustion worldwide. In the United States, conventional hydroelectric power is the leading source of renewable energy, though in recent years wind power and solar/photovoltaics have played larger roles in the energy sector than ever before. In 2018, about 712.8 billion kilowatt hours of power from renewable sources was generated in the United States, up from 686.6 billion kilowatts hours in the previous year.