On the impact of Urbanisation on CO2 Emissions

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Authors

Muhammad Luqman, Peter Rayner, Kevin Robert Gurney

Abstract

We use a globally consistent, time-resolved data set of CO2 emission proxies to quantify urban CO2 emissions in 91 cities. We decompose emission
trends into contributions from changes in urban extent, population density and per capita emissions. We find that urban CO2 emissions are
increasing everywhere but that the dominant contributors differ according to development level. A cluster analysis of factors shows that developing
countries were dominated by cities with rapid area and per capita CO2 emissions increases. Cities in the developed world, by contrast, show slow area and per capita CO2 emissions growth. China is an important intermediate case with rapid urban area growth combined with slower per capita CO2 emissions growth. For many developed countries, urban per capita emissions are often lower than their national average suggesting that urbanisation may reduce overall emissions. However trends in per capita urban emissions are higher than their national equivalent almost everywhere suggesting that urbanisation will become a more serious problem in future. An important exception is China whose per capita urban emissions are growing more slowly than the national value. We also see a
negative correlation between trends in population density and per capita CO2 emissions, highlighting a strong role for densification as a tool to
reduce CO2 emissions.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31223/X5D62Z

Subjects

Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Keywords

Remote Sensing, Urban GHG emissions, Urban GHG trends, GHG emission drivers, Kaya identity, Urban GHG trends, GHG emission drivers, Kaya identity

Dates

Published: 2021-11-01 17:21

Last Updated: 2021-11-01 17:21

License

CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

Additional Metadata

Conflict of interest statement:
None

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