Navigation Links
Don't blame cities for climate change, see them as solutions
Date:9/26/2008

Cities are being unfairly blamed for most of humanity's greenhouse gas emissions and this threatens efforts to tackle climate change, warns a study in the October 2008 issue of the journal Environment and Urbanization.

The paper says cities are often blamed for 75 to 80 percent of emissions, but that the true value is closer to 40 percent. It adds that the potential for cities to help address climate change is being overlooked because of this error.

"Blaming cities for greenhouse gas emissions misses the point that cities are a large part of the solution," says the paper's author, David Satterthwaite, a Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). "Well planned, well governed cities can provide high living standards that do not require high consumption levels and high greenhouse gas emissions."

United Nations agencies, former US President Bill Clinton's climate change initiative and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg have all stated that between 75 and 80 per cent of emissions come from cities.

Satterthwaite used data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to show that only two-fifths of all greenhouse gases from human activities are generated within cities. Agriculture and deforestation account for around 30 percent, and the rest are mostly from heavy industry, wealthy households and coal, oil or gas fuelled power stations located in rural areas and in urban centres too small to be considered cities.

But the paper also highlights how it can be misleading to allocate greenhouse gas emissions to places. For instance, emissions from power stations should be allocated to those that consume the electricity, not the places where the power stations are located. Emissions generated by industries should likewise be allocated to the person consuming the goods the industries produce.

"Consumer demand drives the production of goods and services, and therefore the emission of greenhouse gases," says Satterthwaite. "Allocating emissions to consumers rather than producers shows that the problem is not cities but a minority of the world's population with high-consumption lifestyles. A large proportion of these consumers live not in cities but in small towns and rural areas."

In addition, allocating greenhouse gas emissions to consumers increases the share of global emissions from Europe and North America and highlights the very low emissions per person of most city inhabitants in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

In general, wealthy people outside cities are responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than those in cities as they have larger homes that need to be heated or cooled, more automobiles per household and greater automobile use.

"The way cities are designed and run can make a big difference," says Satterthwaite. "Most cities in the United States have three to five times the gasoline use per person of most European cities but not three to five times the living standards."

Satterthwaite points out that cities offer many opportunities to reduce per capita greenhouse gas emissions, such as by promoting walking, bicycling and public transport and having building designs that require much less energy for heating and cooling.

"Achieving the needed reductions in greenhouse gas emissions worldwide depends on seeing and acting on the potential of cities to combine a high quality of life with low greenhouse gas emissions," he says.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mike Shanahan
mike.shanahan@iied.org
44-020-738-82117
SAGE Publications UK
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Research team says extraterrestrial impact to blame for Ice Age extinctions
2. When bears steal human food, moms not to blame
3. If your first cigarette gave you a buzz and you now smoke, a gene may be to blame
4. BIO5 researcher identifies cities at risk for terrorism
5. Alcohol and malt liquor availability and promotion higher in African American inner cities
6. Carbon Disclosure Project, ICLEI partner to help US cities report local climate actions, emissions
7. Climate change goes underground
8. Opportunity for students displaced by Katrina to assess climate vulnerability of Southeast US
9. Climate -- no smoking gun for Neanderthals
10. NASA celebrates a decade observing climate impacts on health of worlds oceans
11. NASA celebrates a decade observing climate impacts on health of worlds oceans
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 No two people are ... the New York University Tandon School of Engineering ... found that partial similarities between prints are common ... mobile phones and other electronic devices can be ... vulnerability lies in the fact that fingerprint-based authentication ...
(Date:4/6/2017)... -- Forecasts by Product Type (EAC), Biometrics, ... (Transportation & Logistics, Government & Public Sector, Utilities / ... Facility, Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, Business Organisation (BFSI), Hospitality ... looking for a definitive report on the $27.9bn Access ... ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... -- Today HYPR Corp. , leading innovator in ... the HYPR platform is officially FIDO® Certified . ... that empowers biometric authentication across Fortune 500 enterprises and ... 15 million users across the financial services industry, however ... suites and physical access represent a growing portion of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... Bacterial biofilms, surface adherent communities of bacteria that ... ranging from food poisoning and catheter infections to gum disease and the rejection of ... billions of dollars per year, there is currently a paucity of means for preventing ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... , ... May 23, 2017 , ... ... manufacturers to re-engineer their control technology again and again. METTLER TOLEDO has released ... machine manufacturers. The videos illustrate how integration of the ACT350 into Siemens and ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... ... other leaders of the Maryland Biohealth community in developing and issuing recommendations to ... 3 U.S. BioHealth Innovation Hub by 2023. , The recommendations ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... May 19, 2017 , ... ... annual meeting and educational conference of the American Association of Bioanalysts (AAB) and ... Galleria Hotel in Houston. The conference reinforces AAB’s commitment to excellence in clinical ...
Breaking Biology Technology: