DOEE regularly tracks the District’s greenhouse gas emissions in order to measure our progress towards reducing emissions 50% by 2032 and reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. Greenhouse gas inventories identify the major sources of greenhouse gasses and measure how much they pollute. Major sources include energy used by homes and buildings, transportation, and solid waste.
We track emissions across the District using the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC), as well as from our own government operations, using the Local Government Operations Protocol (LGO Protocol). The first District greenhouse gas inventory was completed for 2006. DOEE releases an annual inventory with data available for 2009-2020.
Progress Towards Emissions Reduction Goals
The District is on track to meet its ambitious goals to halve emissions by 2032, and to become carbon neutral by 2050. In 2020, the District saw a 40% decrease in citywide emissions compared to the 2006 baseline inventory, noting 2020 data reflects significant impacts of the COVID-19 public health emergency, particularly in decreased non-residential building energy use and transportation. Analyzing any lasting impacts on the city’s long-term emissions trends will require several years of future data, but overall the District has demonstrated strong progress towards our 2032 goal of halving emissions, with much work still ahead to achieve carbon neutrality.
Emissions Sources in the District
The District’s greenhouse gas inventory tracks emissions by both source and sector: sources refer to the fuels that produce energy, and sectors are the main energy-consuming areas of the economy. In the District, emissions come from three main sectors: buildings, transportation, and waste. In 2020, buildings continued to be the main driver of citywide emissions (72%) followed by transportation (21%) and waste (7%). Within these sectors, the main sources of emissions are electricity (49%), fossil gas (24%), and gasoline (17%).
- CDP: The District, along with major cities from around the world, regularly reports greenhouse gas emissions through the Carbon Disclosure Project CDP