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U.S. greenhouse gas emissions experienced a more than 10 percent drop amid the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the largest decrease in annual emissions since World War II, according to a report released Tuesday by the research firm Rhodium Group.
The report noted that a decrease in activities by industries hit hard by the pandemic, including transportation and electric power, contributed to the 10.3 percent decline, outpacing the 6.3 percent decline following the Great Recession of 2009.
The U.S. transportation sector saw the largest drop in emissions in 2020, down 14.7 percent from 2019 levels as the pandemic forced a drop in travel.
Power plant emissions followed with the second-largest decline at 10.3 percent below 2019 levels, spurred by the drop in coal-fired power plants and a general decline in electricity amid the pandemic.
According to the research group, the significant decline means the U.S. will be able to exceed its 2020 Copenhagen Accord target of a 17 percent reduction below 2005 levels.