Arizona and American agriculture are cheering as we near Earth Day 2024 since according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Annual Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2022 agriculture has had the largest drop in greenhouse agricultural emissions. Released on April 11th, the report shows U.S. agriculture dropped 1.8% - the largest decrease of any economic sector.

Said American Farm Bureau Federation’s Economist Daniel Munch, “The nearly 2% drop in U.S. agricultural emissions from 2021 to 2022 highlights the success and continued importance of voluntary, market- and incentive-based conservation practices that help farmers and ranchers access finances for the research and technology needed to take ever-better care of our natural resources. 2022 marks the lowest U.S. agricultural greenhouse gas emissions since 2012.”

In the meantime, it’s important to note that U.S. agriculture represents just under 10% of total U.S. emissions when compared to other economic sectors. Transportation contributes 28%, electric power 25%, and industry 23%. The only economic sector near agriculture is residential and commercial at 13%. Significantly, residential and commercial could not operate, let alone survive without agriculture, transportation, electric power, and industry. 

Overall U.S. greenhouse gas emissions increased from 2021 to 2022 by 1.3%, though the aggregate nationwide emissions increase in 2022 was likely a result of the continued return of economic activity after the COVID-19 pandemic; with the slow return of food service, entertainment, and travel came the emissions associated with those activities.

American Farm Bureau Federation produced a full and thorough report on the EPA numbers