VIDEO: U.S. emissions increased in 2022, plus climate talks at Davos

February 1, 2023

The Week in Sustainability – January 30–February 3, 2023

About The Week in Sustainability

Each week, Sustain.Life’s sustainability team offers commentary about the week’s most pressing issues and stories in sustainability and ESG. Watch every episode here.

U.S. carbon emissions increased by 1.3% in 2022

Let’s look at some good emissions news along with some bad. 

First, the bad: In 2022, carbon emissions in the U.S. increased by 1.3%, according to Rhodium’s latest analysis. While much lower than the 6% increase we saw in 2021 any increase is a trend in the wrong direction. The continued use of natural gas mostly explains the increase. We often see natural gas offered as a lower carbon alternative to coal, and that should raise a little greenwashing flag for everyone. The comparison only considers the burning of these fossil fuels and ignores the fact that natural gas is mostly methanogenic. That means that while burning natural gas is cleaner than coal, the methane leaks during extraction and transport are incredibly detrimental. 

The good: Renewables successfully overtook coal for the first time in decades. We can confidently bet on this remaining the case because coal has been on the decline for a while now, and renewables are getting cheaper.   

Climate talks at Davos mean no more silos

The 53rd annual World Economic Forum (WEF) conference in Davos wrapped in January. It focused on four main pillars: the energy and food crisis, conventional economic issues, technologies, and social vulnerabilities. 

With climate as a key subject at the conference, it’s clear that climate issues are no longer siloed. Climate as a topic of conversation used to compete with other issues like employment or inflation, but now world leaders see how climate issues are directly connected to the economy. 

Event: Preparing for third-party assurance

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In this webinar, our team will walk through Sustain.Life’s new verification and assurance support feature and how it enables companies to quickly share their emissions data with assurance providers.

Event: Preparing for third-party assurance

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Editorial statement
At Sustain.Life, our goal is to provide the most up-to-date, objective, and research-based information to help readers make informed decisions. Written by practitioners and experts, articles are grounded in research and experience-based practices. All information has been fact-checked and reviewed by our team of sustainability professionals to ensure content is accurate and aligns with current industry standards. Articles contain trusted third-party sources that are either directly linked to the text or listed at the bottom to take readers directly to the source.
Sustain.Life Team
Sustain.Life’s teams of sustainability practitioners and experts often collaborate on articles, videos, and other content.
Alyssa Rade
Alyssa Rade is the chief sustainability officer at Sustain.Life. She has over ten years of corporate sustainability experience and guides Sustain.Life’s platform features.
The takeaway

– U.S. carbon emissions increased by 1.3% in 2022, mostly due to the continued use of natural gas. However, renewables have overtaken coal for the first time in decades.  

– The 53rd annual World Economic Forum (WEF) conference in Davos wrapped in January. The conference’s agenda was focused on the energy and food crisis, economic issues, technologies, and social vulnerabilities, plus initiatives and alliances that were formed as a result of the discussions.