Advertisement

AMBIO

, Volume 43, Issue 7, pp 957–968 | Cite as

A Top-Down Regional Assessment of Urban Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Europe

  • Peter J. Marcotullio
  • Andrea Sarzynski
  • Jochen Albrecht
  • Niels Schulz
Report

Abstract

This paper provides an account of urban greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 40 countries in Europe and examines covariates of emissions levels. We use a “top-down” analysis of emissions as spatially reported in the Emission Dataset for Global Atmospheric Research supplemented by Carbon Monitoring for Action from 1153 European cities larger than 50 000 population in 2000 (comprising >81 % of the total European urban population). Urban areas are defined spatially and demographically by the Global Rural Urban Mapping Project. We compare these results with “bottom-up” carbon accounting method results for cities in the region. Our results suggest that direct (Scopes 1 and 2) GHG emissions from urban areas range between 44 and 54 % of total anthropogenic emissions for the region. While individual urban GHG footprints vary from bottom-up studies, both the mean differences and the regional energy-related GHG emission share support previous findings. Correlation analysis indicates that the urban GHG emissions in Europe are mainly influenced by population size, density, and income and not by biophysical conditions. We argue that these data and methods of analysis are best used at the regional or higher scales.

Keywords

Europe Urban Greenhouse gas emissions Regional assessment EDGAR 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research is part of a study entitled, “Ecosystem Services for an Urbanizing Planet, What 2 billion new urbanites means for air and water,” financed by a grant from the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS project 12455) and The Nature Conservancy. Two reviewers carefully read drafts of the document and provided many questions, comments, and suggestions that greatly improved the paper. Allan Frei provided valuable recommendations concerning our analyses. The authors are responsible for any mistakes, miscalculations, and misinterpretations.

Supplementary material

13280_2013_467_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (152 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 152 kb)

References

  1. Bader, N., and R. Bleischwitz. 2009. Measuring urban greenhouse gas emissions: The challenge of comparability. Survey and Perspectives Integrating Environment & Society 2: 7–21.Google Scholar
  2. Baldasano, J.M., C. Soriano, and L. Boada. 1999. Emission inventory for greenhouse gases in the City of Barcelona, 1987–1996. Atmospheric Environment 33: 3765–3775.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bettencourt, L., and G. West. 2010. A unified theory of urban living. Nature 467: 912–913.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bettencourt, L.M.A., J. Lobo, D. Helbing, C. Kuhnert, and G.B. West. 2007. Growth, innovation, scaling, and the pace of life in cities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 104: 7301–7306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brown, M.A., F. Southworth, and A. Sarzynski. 2008. Shrinking the carbon footprint of metropolitan America. Washington, DC: Brookings Institute Metropolitan Policy Program.Google Scholar
  6. Bulkeley, H. 2013. Cities and climate change. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. Butler, T.M., and M.G. Lawrence. 2009. The influence of megacities on global atmospheric chemistry: A modelling study. Environmental Chemistry 6: 219–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Butler, T.M., M.G. Lawrence, B.R. Gurjar, J. van Aardeene, M. Schultz, and J. Lelieveld. 2008. The representation of emissions from megacities in global emission inventories. Atmospheric Environment 42: 703–719.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Carney, S., N. Green, R. Wood, and R. Read. 2009. Greenhouse gas inventories for 18 European regions. Manchester: The Greenhouse Gas Regional Inventory Project, University of Manchester.Google Scholar
  10. de Sherbinin, A., & R.S. Chen. 2005. Global spatial data and information: Development, dissemination and use. In Report of a workshop held 2123 September, 2004, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, NY. Palisades, NY: Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center, CIESIN, Columbia University.Google Scholar
  11. Dhakal, S. 2010. GHG emission from urbanization and opportunities for urban carbon mitigation. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 2: 277–283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dhakal, S., and H. Imura. 2004. Urban energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in Asian mega-cities, policies for a sustainable future. Tokyo: Institute for Global Environmental Strategies.Google Scholar
  13. Dodman, D. 2009. Blaming cities for climate change? An analysis of urban greenhouse gas emissions inventories. Environment and Urbanization 21: 185–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Duren, R.M., and C.E. Miller. 2012. Measuring the carbon emissions of megacities. Nature: Climate Change 2: 560–562.Google Scholar
  15. Elvidge, C.D., K.E. Baugh, E.A. Kihn, H.W. Kroehl, and E.R. Davis. 1997. Mapping city lights with nighttime data from the DMSP operational linescan system. Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing 63: 727–734.Google Scholar
  16. European Commission. 2003. European common indicators, towards a local sustainability profile. Milano: Ambiente Italia Research Institute.Google Scholar
  17. European Commission. 2010. European economic forecast spring 2010. Luxembourg: Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs.Google Scholar
  18. European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC)/Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL). 2009. Emission database for global atmospheric research (EDGAR), release version 4.0. ed. http://edgar.jrc.ec.europa.eu/.
  19. Fragkias, M., J. Lobo, D. Strumsky, and K.C. Seto. 2013. Does size matter? Scaling of CO2 emission and US urban areas. PLoS ONE 8: e64727. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0064727.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Greater London Authority. 2010. Delivering London’s energy future. London: Greater London Authority.Google Scholar
  21. Grubler, A., and D. Fisk. 2012. Introduction and overview. In Energizing sustainable cities, assessing urban energy, ed. A. Grubler, and D. Fisk, 1–14. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  22. Grubler, A., X. Bai, T. Buettner, S. Dhakal, D.J. Fisk, T. Ichinose, J.E. Keirstead, G. Sammer, D. Satterthwaite, N.B. Schulz, N. Shah, J. Steinberger, and H. Weisz. 2012. Chapter 18: Urban energy systems. In Global energy assessmentToward a sustainable future, ed. Global Energy Assessment, 1307–1400. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Guerois, M., and D. Pumain. 2008. Built-up encroachment and the urban field: A comparison of forty European cities. Environment and Planning A 40: 2186–2203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Haase, D. 2008. Urban ecology of shrinking cities: An unrecognized opportunity? Nature and Culture 3: 1–8. doi: 10.3167/nc.2008.030101.Google Scholar
  25. Hillman, T., and A. Ramaswami. 2010. Greenhouse gas emission footprints and energy use benchmarks for eight U.S. cities. Environmental Science and Technology 44: 1902–1910.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hoornweg, D., L. Sugar, C. Lorena, and T. Gomez. 2011. Cities and greenhouse gas emissions: Moving forward. Environment and Urbanization 23: 207–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. ICLEI, C40 & World Resources Institute. 2012. Global protocol for community-scale greenhouse gas emissions (GPC), pilot version 1.0. ICLEI, C40, WRI.Google Scholar
  28. IEA. 2008. World energy outlook 2008. Paris: OECD/IEA.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. IPCC. 2007. Climate change 2007: Synthesis report. Geneva: IPCC.Google Scholar
  30. Janssens-Haenhout, G., V. Pagliari, D. Guizzardi, and M. Muntean. 2012. Global emission inventories in the Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR)—Manual (I) gridding: EDGAR emissions distribution on global gridmaps. JRC Technical Reports, European Commission, Ispra, Italy.Google Scholar
  31. Jenks, M., E. Burton, and K. Williams. 1996. The compact city. A sustainable urban form?. London: SPON.Google Scholar
  32. Kennedy, C., A. Ramaswami, S. Carney, and S. Dhakal. 2011. Greenhouse gas emission baselines for global cities and metropolitan regions. In Cities and climate change: Responding to an urgent agenda, ed. D. Hoornweg, M. Freire, Marcus J. Lee, P. Bhada-Tata, and B. Yuen, 15–54. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
  33. Kennedy, C., J. Steinberger, B. Gason, Y. Hansen, T. Hillman, M. Havranck, D. Pataki, A. Phdungsilp, et al. 2009. Greenhouse gas emissions from global cities. Environmental Science and Technology 43: 7297–7302.Google Scholar
  34. Marcotullio, P.J., A. Sarzynski, J. Albrecht, and N. Schulz. 2012. The geography of urban greenhouse gas emissions in Asia: A regional approach. Global Environmental Change, 22: 944–958.Google Scholar
  35. Newman, P., and J. Kenworthy. 1989. Gasoline consumption and cities: A comparison of U.S. cities with a global survey. Journal of American Planning Association 55: 24–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Newman, P., and J. Kenworthy. 1999. Sustainability and cities. Washington, DC: Island Press.Google Scholar
  37. Nuissl, H., D. Haase, M. Lanzendorf, and H. Wittmer. 2009. Environmental impact assessment of urban land use transitions—A context-sensitive approach. Land Use Policy 26: 414–424.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Olivier, J.G.J., A.F. Bouwman, C.W.M. Van Der Mass, and J.J.M. Berdowski. 1994. Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR). Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 31: 93–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Olivier, J.G.J., A.F. Bouwman, K.W. Van der Hoek, and J.J.M. Berdowski. 1998. Global air emission inventories for anthropogenic sources of NOx, NH3 and N2O in 1990. Environmental Pollution 102: 135–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Parshall, L., K. Gurney, S.A. Hammer, D. Mendoza, Y. Zhou, and S. Geethakumar. 2010. Modeling energy consumption and CO2 emissions at the urban scale: Methodological challenges and insights from the United States. Energy Policy 38: 4765–4782.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Ramaswami, A., T. Hillman, B. Janson, M. Reiner, and G. Thomas. 2008. A demand-centered methodology for city-scale greenhouse gas inventories. Environmental Science and Technology 42: 6455–6461.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Romero-Lankao, P., J.L. Tribbia, and D. Nychka. 2009. Testing theories to explore the drivers of cities’ atmospheric emissions. AMBIO 38: 236–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Satterthwaite, D. 2008. Cities’ contribution to global warming: Notes on the allocation of greenhouse gas emissions. Environment and Urbanization 20: 539–549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Schneider, A., M.A. Friedl, and D. Potere. 2009. A new map of global urban extent from MODIS satellite data. Environmental Research Letters 4: 1–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Schulz, N. 2010. Delving into the carbon footprint of Singapore—Comparing direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions of a small and open economic system. Energy Policy 38: 4848–4855.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Sovacool, B.K., and M.A. Brown. 2010. Twelve metropolitan carbon footprints: A preliminary comparative global assessment. Energy Policy 38: 4856–4869.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. United Nations. 2005. World population prospects, the 2004 revision, volume 1: Comprehensive tables. New York: Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations.Google Scholar
  48. United Nations. 2010. World urbanization prospects: 2009 revisions. New York: DESA, UN.Google Scholar
  49. Urban Land Institute, and Ernst & Young. 2011. Infrastructure 2011: A strategic priority. Washington, DC: Urban Land Institute.Google Scholar
  50. US EIA. 2013. International energy statistics, total carbon dioxide from the consumption of energy. Washington, DC: Energy Information Agency. http://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/IEDIndex3.cfm?tid=90&pid=44&aid=8. Accessed 3 August 2013.
  51. van Amstel, A., J. Olivier, and L. Janssen. 1999. Analysis of differences between national inventories and an Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR). Environmental Science & Policy 2: 275–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. WBCSD and WRI. 2004. A corporate accounting and reporting standard. Conches-Geneva/Washington, DC: World Business Council for Sustainable Development/World Resources Institute.Google Scholar
  53. York, R., E.A. Rosa, and T. Dietz. 2003. STIRPAT, IPAT and ImPACT: Analytic tools for unpacking the driving forces of environmental impacts. Ecological Economics 46: 351–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter J. Marcotullio
    • 1
  • Andrea Sarzynski
    • 2
  • Jochen Albrecht
    • 1
  • Niels Schulz
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Geography, Hunter CollegeCity University of New YorkNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.School of Public Policy and AdministrationUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA
  3. 3.ViennaAustria

Personalised recommendations