Reported emissions from the pulp and paper sector decreased significantly from 44.2 million metric tons (MMT) CO2e in 2011 to 35.2 MMT CO2e in 2019, a decrease of 20.4 percent. Reported emissions declined steadily across the time series but the decrease was most notable from 2012 to 2013, when emissions decreased by 3.4 MMT CO2e (8 percent). Reported emissions decreased for both chemical pulp and paper manufacturers, and other paper producers.
The pronounced decline in emissions from chemical pulp and paper facilities between 2012 and 2013 can mostly be attributed to a change in the emission factors used to estimate methane and nitrous oxide emissions. For reporting year 2013, EPA revised the emission factors that facilities use to calculate emissions from the combustion of spent pulping liquor and wood residuals. These new emission factors contributed significantly to the decline in reported emissions for reporting year 2013. The rest of the observed decline in reported emissions was due to changes in production levels and to changes in the fuel mix. The use of coal, coke, and petroleum products as fuel has decreased, and the use of natural gas has increased.