Office of Operations Freight Management and Operations

Freight Facts and Figures 2013

Table 5-14. U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Economic End-Use Sector: 1990, 2005, and 2008-2011 (electricity-related emissions distributed among sectors)1

In addition to CO, NOx, and particulate matter emissions, the transportation sector releases large quantities of greenhouse gases (GHG), such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, nitrous oxide, and hydrofluorocarbons. When emissions from electricity are distributed among end-use sectors, transportation is responsible for about 27 percent of all greenhouse gases emitted in the United States in 2011 and nearly 7 percent of all greenhouse gases emitted globally.* The industrial sector produces the largest amount of GHG emissions (28 percent).

* Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report (Geneva, Switzerland: 2008).

Table 5-14

Table in Excel format | Historical data

Sector (R) 1990 (R) 2005 (R) 2008 (R) 2009 (R) 2010 2011
Industry2 2,181.3 2,102.4 2,036.3 1,789.8 1,916.9 1,897.2
Transportation3 1,556.3 2,017.2 1,920.8 1,845.2 1,856.9 1,833.7
Commercial 953.1 1,243.6 1,223.6 1,159.6 1,216.3 1,169.8
Residential 939.5 1,192.4 1,211.1 1,150.8 1,165.2 1,131.0
Agriculture 519.3 581.5 607.1 593.3 597.1 612.6
U.S. Territories4 33.7 58.2 49.8 47.9 58.0 58.0
Total 6,183.3 7,195.3 7,048.8 6,586.6 6,810.3 6,702.3

Key: CO2 = carbon dioxide; R = revised.

1Emissions from electricity generation are allocated to each economic end-use sector on the basis of each sector's share of aggregate electricity consumption. This method assumes each sector consumes electricity that is generated from the national average mix of fuels according to their carbon intensity.

2Industry includes manufacturing, construction, and mining. Six manufacturing industries—petroleum refinieries, chemicals, primary metals, paper, food, and nonmetallic mineral products--represent the vast majority of energy use and thus GHG emissions in the industrial sector.

3Includes emissions from military aircraft (12.6 million metric tonnes in 2011) and "other" transportation, primarily lubricants (9.0 million metric tonnes in 2011). Emissions from international bunker fuels are not included.

4Electricity-related emissions were not distributed to U.S. Territories.


Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions include CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride. CO2 equivalent is computed by multiplying the weight of the gas being measured by its estimated Global Warming Potential (GWP). The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change developed the GWP concept to compare the ability of one GHG to trap heat in the atmosphere to another gas. Carbon comprises 12/44 of CO2 by weight. Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding.


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2011, EPA 430-R-13-001 (Washington, DC: April 12, 2013), table ES-8, available at as of September 13, 2013.


You may need the Microsoft Excel Viewer to view Excel files on this page.

Office of Operations