Greenhouse gas emissions from global cities

Greenhouse gas emissions from global cities
Christopher Kennedy
Julia K Steinberger
Barrie Gasson
Yvonne Hansen
Timothy Hillman
Miroslav Havranek
Diane Pataki
Aumad Phdungsilp
Anu Ramaswami
Gara Villalba
Environmental Science & Technology, Volume 43, Issue 19, Pages 7297--7302
The world's population is now over 50% urban, and cities make an important contribution to national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Many cities are developing strategies to reduce their emissions. Here we ask how and why emissions differ between cities. Our study of ten global cities shows how a balance of geophysical factors (climate, access to resources, and gateway status) and technical factors (power generation, urban design, and waste processing) determine the GHGs attributable to cities. Within the overall trends, however, there are differences between cities with more or less public transit; while personal income also impacts heating and industrial fuel use. By including upstream emissions from fuels, GHG emissions attributable to cities exceed those from direct end use by up to 25%. Our findings should help foster intercity learning on reducing GHG emissions.
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