Ag Accounted for 10% of 2021 U.S. GHG Emissions

Farming activities in the United States accounted for 10.6 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2021, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service.

New data released this week shows that from 2020 to 2021, agricultural greenhouse gas emissions remained nearly constant but decreased from 11.1 percent to 10.6 percent as a share of total U.S. emissions because of changes in other industries. The Environmental Protection Agency estimated that in 2021, agriculture emitted 312.6 million metric tons as nitrous oxide, 278.4 million metric tons as methane, 44.7 million metric tons as on-farm carbon dioxide, and 35.7 million metric tons emitted indirectly through the electricity that the agricultural sector uses.

Of the common economic sectors in the United States, industry accounted for the largest portion of total greenhouse gas emissions at 30.1 percent, followed by transportation, commercial, residential and agriculture. Total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2021 were 2.3 percent lower than in 1990.