WINDSOR HEIGHTS ― According to the DNR’s legislatively mandated “2012 Iowa Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report” Iowa greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) decreased 3.27 percent from 2011 levels, but remains 8.30 percent above 2005 levels.
The largest sector of GHGs to see a reduction in 2012 was electric power generation fuel use: emissions were down 8.27 percent.
The percentage of electricity generated in Iowa from coal has decreased from 78 percent in 2005 to 63 percent in 2012. The percentage generated from wind increased from 4 percent to 25 percent in the same period.
Iowans emitted an average of 43.45 metric tons of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide equivalents) per person in 2012. According to the EPA equivalencies calculator (www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html
), that’s like sending 16.3 tons of waste to the landfill instead of recycling. Another way to view it is that 1,114 tree seedlings grown 10 years sequester the amount of carbon emitted by one Iowan’s actions in 2012.
This is the seventh greenhouse gas inventory conducted for Iowa. Its purpose is to track emissions trends and develop baselines to track progress in reducing emissions. The complete report is at www.iowadnr.gov/InsideDNR/RegulatoryAir/
The inventory is a policy-neutral calculation of Iowa greenhouse gas emissions in 2012, which includes sectors of agriculture, fossil fuel combustion, industrial processes, natural gas transmission and distribution, transportation, and waste. It also includes carbon sinks and emissions from land use, land use change and forestry.