Carbon footprinting for climate change management in cities

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Abstract

A significant proportion of anthropogenic GHG-generating activities are concentrated in cities. As centers of high consumption, wealth and creativity, cities must play a significant role in tackling climate change. Action to reduce emissions at a local level requires that municipal and local governments have a good understanding of emissions sources and reduction potentials. To achieve this, municipal governments require adequate tools and resources to enable effective policy decision making. The carbon footprint is becoming an increasingly recognized tool for the management of climate change. The term carbon footprint originated in the 'gray literature', and it is widely recognized in the public arena. It offers the opportunity to municipal governments to develop models to inform climate change strategy decision making, and enables municipal authorities to localize the issue of climate change and promote the benefits of climate change mitigation at the local level. Existing framework guidance often fails to include all relevant emissions or follow widely varying methodologies, limiting comparability. This article examines the concept of climate change localization and management. The carbon footprint is explored in the context of a tool for municipal government management of GHG emissions. We conclude by suggesting that the carbon footprint become a cost-effective, practical and repeatable metric that can be adopted by municipal governments across the globe as a 'baseline' indicator. © 2011 Future Science Ltd.

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Wright, L. A., Coello, J., Kemp, S., & Williams, I. (2011). Carbon footprinting for climate change management in cities. Carbon Management, 2(1), 49–60. https://doi.org/10.4155/cmt.10.41

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