A Gridded Model Of Carbon Footprints

Daniel Moran

Keiichiro Kanemoto
Richard Wood
Magnus Jiborn
Karen Seto

NTNU Industrial Ecology

Paris INDCs are not enough

Fawcett, S., ,et al. (2015). Science. 10.1126/science.aad5761

We know cities have some power

Cities are home to the majority of the current and predicted global population, economic activity, and energy use

But we don't know how this power is distributed between cities, or between cities and suburbs*

*Some cities have footprint accounts, but these use quite different methods and are not consistent. For a few countries (USA, Australia, Norway UK) consistent urban and suburban footprints have been calculated. But for most cities and countries in the world, this has not been done.

What is the role of poor, populous megacities?
What is the role of small, rich cities?
To answer these questions we built a model of how carbon footprints are distributed in each country

While high-emitting suburban and rural households do play a role, we find that footprints are highly concentrated in a small number of cities

In the US and China, ten cities drive approximately one-third of the national carbon footprint

Method illustration

Our model includes existing models

Coverage Level of Detail Authors
USA 31,531 ZIP codes Jones & Kammen 2014
China 30 provinces Wang et al. 2015
Japan 47 prefectures Hasegawa et al. 2015
UK 408 LADs Minx et al. 2013
20 European countries 178 NUTS regions (lvl 1/2/3) Ivanova et al. 2017
Conclusion: a small number of cities can have big impacts on national emissions


Dan Moran

NTNU Industrial Ecology