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Energies 2016, 9(8), 602; doi:10.3390/en9080602

City Carbon Footprint Networks

1
Sustainability Assessment Program (SAP), Water Research Centre, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UNSW Australia, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
2
Integrated Sustainability Analysis (ISA), School of Physics A28, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jukka Heinonen
Received: 15 June 2016 / Revised: 21 July 2016 / Accepted: 22 July 2016 / Published: 29 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficient City)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4076 KB, uploaded 29 July 2016]   |  

Abstract

Progressive cities worldwide have demonstrated political leadership by initiating meaningful strategies and actions to tackle climate change. However, the lack of knowledge concerning embodied greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of cities has hampered effective mitigation. We analyse trans-boundary GHG emission transfers between five Australian cities and their trading partners, with embodied emission flows broken down into major economic sectors. We examine intercity carbon footprint (CF) networks and disclose a hierarchy of responsibility for emissions between cities and regions. Allocations of emissions to households, businesses and government and the carbon efficiency of expenditure have been analysed to inform mitigation policies. Our findings indicate that final demand in the five largest cities in Australia accounts for more than half of the nation’s CF. City households are responsible for about two thirds of the cities’ CFs; the rest can be attributed to government and business consumption and investment. The city network flows highlight that over half of emissions embodied in imports (EEI) to the five cities occur overseas. However, a hierarchy of GHG emissions reveals that overseas regions also outsource emissions to Australian cities such as Perth. We finally discuss the implications of our findings on carbon neutrality, low-carbon city concepts and strategies and allocation of subnational GHG responsibility. View Full-Text
Keywords: cities; carbon footprint (CF); urban greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; carbon accounting; city carbon map; multi-region input-output modelling cities; carbon footprint (CF); urban greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; carbon accounting; city carbon map; multi-region input-output modelling
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Chen, G.; Wiedmann, T.; Hadjikakou, M.; Rowley, H. City Carbon Footprint Networks. Energies 2016, 9, 602.

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