2020 Environmental Real Estate Issues

On October 5, 2023, EPA published greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data for 2022. The accompanying news release reported that GHG emissions from large industrial sources in 2022 were lower than 2021 emissions.

Power Plants Transitioning to Natural Gas
Power plants are by far the largest GHG emitting industrial sector, releasing five times more GHG than the next largest sector. The news release said this sector’s GHG emissions decreased in 2022 from 2021 levels. Moreover, this sector has had “a 28.7% decrease in GHG emissions since 2011 reflecting the long-term shifts in power sector fuel-stock from coal to natural gas.”

Increases from Petroleum and Natural Gas Systems
Petroleum and natural gas systems are the second largest GHG emitting sector. As the primary facilitator for GHG reductions from the power plant sector, this sector’s 1.2% increase in GHG emissions from 2021 to 2022 and 14.2% increase since 2016 is not surprising. Given the much smaller contribution of this sector to GHG emissions, the increases from petroleum and natural gas are offset many times over by the huge decreases in power plant emissions.

Other Sectors Decrease GHG Emissions
Large sources in sectors other than power plants and petroleum and natural gas systems, which combined account for over twice the GHG emissions from the petroleum and natural gas sector, decreased GHG emissions by 1.8% from 2021 and by 9.3% from 2011.

To see EPA’s news release https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/greenhouse-gas-reporting-program-2022-data-publication