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District of Columbia Releases Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory

Friday, January 29, 2010

MEDIA CONTACT: Sherry Schwechten (202) 741-2136

WASHINGTON, DC – As part of the District’s Climate Change Initiative, the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) is releasing a comprehensive analysis of greenhouse gas emissions within the city.  The District of Columbia Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory represents the first step in the District’s efforts to prevent the worst consequences of global climate change.

The inventory calculates all measurable greenhouse gas emissions that occurred within the District during calendar year 2006, the “baseline” year.  In 2006, our citywide emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from electricity consumption and other direct sources totaled 10.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e), or 18 tons per resident.  This amount is below the EPA’s national average of 19.7 tons per person, but higher than other major cities due to energy use by the District’s large day-time population of workers who commute into the city.  Of the District’s total emissions, 6 percent were the result of District Government operations.  The remaining 94 percent of emissions came from activity in the private sector, most notably from building energy used for lighting, heating and cooling.  Greenhouse gas emissions linked to residential and commercial buildings accounted for 75 percent of the District’s total emissions.

“Understanding our carbon footprint is the first critical step in taking targeted action to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and save energy and money,” said Maureen McGowan, Interim Director of the District Department of the Environment.  “The District has already begun to take action against climate change with progressive laws including the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, our Green Building Act and the Clean and Affordable Energy Act.  With more green and Energy Star® buildings per capita than any other city and the second the highest mass transit ridership levels in the nation, the District is well-positioned to take bigger and bolder steps to fight climate change.”

The fact sheet and a full copy of the District of Columbia Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory are available online at, or can be requested by calling (202) 535-2600.