Under-reporting of greenhouse gas emissions in U.S. cities - INSU - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers Access content directly
Journal Articles Nature Communications Year : 2021

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

Kevin Robert Gurney
  • Function : Author
Jianming Liang
  • Function : Author
Geoffrey Roest
  • Function : Author
Yang Song
  • Function : Author
Kimberly Mueller
  • Function : Author

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.
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insu-03721920 , version 1 (13-07-2022)

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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⟩
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