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How much greenhouse gas does Texas add to the atmosphere? And where is it coming from?

As global leaders debate plans to reduce greenhouse gases, energy data shows Texas's outsized responsibility for CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

DALLAS — Time is running out for global leaders to reach an agreement on how to accelerate action on climate change at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. 

The summit, set to end on Friday, has been the stage for lawmakers, business leaders, and activists to discuss strategies for reducing carbon emissions to prevent global temperatures from rising.

Texas is the largest energy-producing and energy-consuming state in the nation, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Data from the E.I.A. shows how much carbon dioxide Texas is responsible for emitting into the atmosphere. 

The data, displayed in millions of metric tons, shows Texas's overall unadjusted energy-related carbon dioxide emissions from 2000 to 2018.

Texas saw its highest level of carbon dioxide emissions in 2018 with a total of 684 million metric tons, nearly doubling California's emissions load the same year (356.6 million metric tons.)

The industrial sector, including its refineries and petrochemical plants, accounts for half of the energy consumed in the state. 

According to E.I.A. data, the industrial sector also accounted for the highest level of emissions in 2018 when the sector contributed an estimate 231 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. 

The industry sector also is responsible for the highest level of carbon dioxide emissions since 1980.

In 1997, Texas's industrial sector emitted an estimated 264 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, E.I.A. data shows.

How does Texas compare to the rest of the United States?

E.I.A. data lists state-by-state carbon dioxide emissions from 2000 to 2018.

Using this interactive, choose a year from the drop-down menu. Then, hover over a state to see how much carbon dioxide it emitted into the atmosphere.

The E.I.A. provides a detailed explanation of its methodology in determining a state's greenhouse gas emissions. You can read more about that here

Back in Glasgow, the COP26 climate summit may be scheduled to end on Friday, but global leaders expect the conversations to continue long after the official event is over in search of meaningful commitments to preventing the potentially catastrophic effects of climate change.

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