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Greenhouse Gas Inventories

DOEE regularly tracks the District’s greenhouse gas emissions in order to measure our progress towards reducing emissions 60% by 2030 and reaching net-zero emissions by 2045. 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 2009-2021.

Progress Towards Emissions Reduction Goals

The District is on track to meet its ambitious goals to reduce emissions by 60% by 2030, and to become carbon neutral by 2045. In 2021, the District saw a 36% decrease in citywide emissions compared to the 2006 baseline inventory, noting 2021 data reflects 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 2030 goal, with much work still ahead to achieve carbon neutrality.

Citywide Emissions and Targets
The key drivers of emissions reductions between 2006 and 2021 have been the greening of the region’s electric grid (60%), decreased energy use intensity in commercial buildings (55%) and improvements in vehicle fuel economy combined with fewer miles driven per resident (18%). These changes have allowed the city’s emissions to fall even as other factors have put upward pressure on emissions, including the increase in square feet of building space (15%), population growth (7%) and a warmer summer in 2021 compared to 2006 (7%). The District’s Clean Energy DC plan, finalized in 2018, calls for ongoing local action to cut energy use in buildings, shift to clean energy sources, and shift the way we move residents, employees, and goods in and around the city, all of which will be critical to meeting these long-term goals. The District’s annual inventory will continue to record progress as the city continues to implement Clean Energy DC and a path to carbon neutrality by 2045 through Carbon Free DC.
Emmisions by Sector

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 2021, buildings continued to be the main driver of citywide emissions (71%) followed by transportation (21%) and waste (8%). Within these sectors, the main sources of emissions are electricity (49%), fossil gas (22%), and gasoline (20%).
2021 Emmisions by Sector
Additional Resources

  • CDP: The District, along with major cities from around the world, regularly reports greenhouse gas emissions through the Carbon Disclosure Project CDP