Emissions Study Comes to Cities' Defense

According to one study, cities are often wrongly blamed for 75 to 80% of greenhouse gas emissions; the figure is closer to 40%.

"...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 [the paper's author, David] 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.'"

Thanks to Jon Cecil, AICP

Full Story: Don't Blame Cities For Climate Change, See Them As Solutions

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