Research Handbooks in Environmental Law series
Edited by Geert Van Calster, Wim Vandenberghe and Leonie Reins
Chapter 12: An overview of climate change mitigation in the industrial sector of the United States
The 2010 United States (US) Climate Action Report defines the US industrial sector as ‘all facilities and equipment used for producing, processing, or assembling goods, including manufacturing, mining, agriculture, and construction.’ Examples of sub-sectors in the industrial sector include refineries, chemicals, waste, metals, minerals, and pulp and paper. The greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted by these sectors are both ‘direct’ and ‘indirect.’ Direct emissions refer to emissions produced at the facility, and include emissions from leaks, use of fuels in production of materials, chemical reactions during the production of products, and the consumption of fossil fuels to create power or heat. Indirect emissions are emissions that occur off site, but are associated with the facility’s use of energy. According to the United States (US) Climate Action Draft 2014 Report, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from industrial processes in the US in 2011 comprised roughly 5 percent of total GHG emissions, and 26 percent of total GHG emissions if including energy used by the industrial sector. It is difficult to predict whether GHG emissions from the industrial sector will increase or decrease.
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