Carbon Footprints Concentrated in Few Global Cities
18 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2017
Date Written: May 1, 2017
Local government can play a significant role in achieving the <2° warming target. Urban planning, energy efficiency, technology adoption and household consumption all occur within the jurisdiction of local and state governments. Localized information about the distribution and composition of carbon footprints can help tailor mitigation policies for individual areas (e.g. focusing attention on direct vs. indirect emissions). Developing a high-resolution gridded model of carbon footprints, we find that overall, carbon footprints are highly concentrated into a small number of high-income cities and suburbs. Just 200 urban areas drive 35% of the global carbon footprint, and in the US and China just ten metro areas drive approximately one-third of the national carbon footprint. This indicates that tailored local policies to address emissions and consumption in a few large cities will have a substantial effect on national and global emissions.
Keywords: mrio, footprint, carbon footprint, urban metabolism, cba, cities, urban
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