Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Under-reporting of greenhouse gas emissions in U.S. cities

Abstract : Cities dominate greenhouse gas emissions. Many have generated self-reported emission inventories, but their value to emissions mitigation depends on their accuracy, which remains untested. Here, we compare self-reported inventories from 48 US cities to independent estimates from the Vulcan carbon dioxide emissions data product, which is consistent with atmospheric measurements. We found that cities under-report their own greenhouse gas emissions, on average, by 18.3% (range: -145.5% to +63.5%) - a difference which if extrapolated to all U.S. cities, exceeds California's total emissions by 23.5%. Differences arise because city inventories omit particular fuels and source types and estimate transportation emissions differently. These results raise concerns about self-reported inventories in planning or assessing emissions, and warrant consideration of the new urban greenhouse gas information system recently developed by the scientific community.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Nathalie POTHIER Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, July 13, 2022 - 2:12:21 PM
Last modification on : Friday, July 15, 2022 - 3:23:32 AM


Publisher files allowed on an open archive


Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License



Kevin Robert Gurney, Jianming Liang, Geoffrey Roest, Yang Song, Kimberly Mueller, et al.. Under-reporting of greenhouse gas emissions in U.S. cities. Nature Communications, 2021, 12, ⟨10.1038/s41467-020-20871-0⟩. ⟨insu-03721920⟩



Record views


Files downloads