Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the US rose by 2 per cent last year, the US Energy Information Agency reported, beginning a climb up, despite still being lower than during strong economic performance years.

Some 5.38 billion tonnes of CO2 were released into the air in 2013, up from 5.27 billion tonnes emitted in 2012. Rising natural gas prices have boosted the use of coal in the last year to generate electricity.

In October, for example, the sooty material was the source of 39 per cent of the country’s electricity, while natural gas contributed 28 per cent. In 2012, coal was the source of 37 per cent of the nation’s electricity while natural gas accounted for 30 per cent.

Emissions for 2013 are still 10 per cent lower than in 2005. This means that the US is on its way to reaching the Obama Administration’s goal of curbing emissions by 17 per cent by 2020.

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