City Dwellers Do Less Harm

A new study has shown that city dwellers are less of a burden on the environment than those outside of city and metropolitan areas.
March 27, 2009, 11am PDT | Nate Berg
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"David Dodman at the International Institute for Environment and Development in London, who led the study, says previous claims that cities contribute disproportionately to global climate change are unfounded."

"To discover just how bad city life is for the climate, Dodman compared greenhouse gas emissions in 12 large cities around the world with the average emissions of their respective countries. He found that, on average, city dwellers emit fewer greenhouse gases than the average for their country."

"Jim Hall at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in the UK says that, although dense cities may reduce transport emissions and act as "hugely beneficial" hubs of innovation, their total effect on the climate also depends on measures that were not captured by the current analysis."

"'Cities where the service sector dominates have outsourced carbon intensive industries to developing countries, yet are still voracious consumers of industrial products,' Hall says. 'There is a large discrepancy between production-based and consumptions-based metrics of emissions.'"

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Published on Monday, March 23, 2009 in New Scientist
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