Methodology for Inventorying Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Global Cities

Programme Type: ProjectsUrban Research Programme: Applied Urban Research

This paper describes the methodology and data used to determine greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions attributable to ten cities or city-regions: Los Angeles County, Denver City and County, Greater Toronto, New York City, Greater London, Geneva Canton, Greater Prague, Barcelona, Cape Town and Bangkok. Equations for determining emissions are developed for contributions from: electricity; heating and industrial fuels; ground transportation fuels; air and marine fuels; industrial processes; and waste. Gasoline consumption is estimated using three approaches: from local fuel sales; by scaling from regional fuel sales; and from counts of vehicle kilometres travelled. A simplified version of an IPCC (intergovernmental panel on climate change) method for estimating the GHG emissions from landfill waste is applied. Three measures of overall emissions are suggested: i) actual emissions within the boundary of the city; ii) single process emissions (from a life-cycle perspective) associated with the city’s metabolism; and iii) lifecycle emissions associated with the city’s metabolism. The results and analysis of the study will be published in a second.

Christopher Kennedy1*, Julia Steinberger2, Barrie Gasson3, Yvonne Hansen4, Timothy Hillman5 , Miroslav Havránek6, Diane Pataki7, Aumnad Phdungsilp8, Anu Ramaswami9, Gara Villalba Mendez10.

  1. Dept. of Civil Engineering, University of Toronto, Canada (35 St. George Street, Toronto, M5S 1A4; christopher.kennedy@utoronto.ca; +1 416 978 5978).
  2. Vienna Institute of Social Ecology, IFF, University of Klagenfurt, Austria (Schottenfeldgasse 29, 1070 Vienna; julias@alum.mit.edu; ++43-1-5224000-411).
  3. School of Architecture and Planning, University of Cape Town, South Africa (7701 Rondebosch, Cape Town; Barrie.Gasson@uct.ac.za; +27 21 650-2366).
  4. African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town, South Africa (7701 Rondebosch, Cape Town; Yvonne.Hansen@uct.ac.za; +27 21 650 5903).
  5. Dept. of Civil Engineering, University of Colorado Denver, USA (Campus Box 113, P.O. Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364; hillman@colorado.edu; 303 556- 4734 ).
  6. Charles University Environment Center, Czech Republic (U Krize8, 15000 Prague; Miroslav.Havranek@czp.cuni.cz ; +420251080351).
  7. Dept. of Earth System Science and Dept. of Ecology & Evol. Biology, University of California, Irvine, USA (Irvine, CA 92697-3100; dpataki@uci.edu; +1 949-824-
    9411).
  8. Dept. of Energy Management, Dhurakij Pundit University, Thailand (110/1-4 Prachachuen Rd., Laksi, Bangkok 10210, aumnad@dpu.ac.th; +662 954 7300 Ext. 587).
  9. Dept. of Civil Engineering, University of Colorado Denver, USA (Campus Box 113, P.O. Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364; Anu.Ramaswami@cudenver.edu; 303 556-4734 ).
  10. Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals, Autonomous University of Barcelona (Edifici Cn 08193 Bellaterra; gara.villalba@uab.es; +93.581.24.88).