Peter Marcotullio, Hunter College – City University of New York, New York, NY, USA

Presentation Title: Urban GHG emissions footprints: Meanings and methodological issues 




Experts suggest that cities are responsible for up to 75% of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. These estimates are generated in different ways, many of which involve material flows analyses. Given data availability, definitional issues and research design differences, however, greenhouse gas emissions results for the same location can vary significantly. Indeed, some have argued that given these differences, it is difficult to make comparisons between carbon accounting results between cities.  This study examined differences in urban greenhouse gas emission accounts conceptually and empirically. It reviews differences in methods used in a number of different reports and what these differences mean for policy. Provided is a case study of different greenhouse gas emissions results for New York City, highlighting the similarities and differences in approaches and findings. Given significant differences in results, care is needed when using greenhouse gas emissions in findings for policy development.