The goods and services we consume, most of which are imported, would be the main source of urban greenhouse gas emissions. This is the conclusion of a new C40 Cities study, presented Tuesday at the International Conference on Climate Change, held in Edmonton.
This is the first study that takes into account the greenhouse gas emissions generated by consumption in so many cities, nearly 80.
The authors took into account aspects of daily life such as buying food and clothing, cultural outings and online shopping.
Until then, most cities measured their greenhouse gas emissions based on the goods and services produced in their territory, rather than those consumed there.
With this new measure, the authors of the study estimate that the greenhouse gases emitted by cities are 60% higher than what could be calculated in the past.
C40 Cities is a network of some 100 major cities around the world, including Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, engaged in the fight against climate change.
New levers of action for cities
According to Mark Watts, Executive Director of C40 Cities, the study provides a more complete picture of the causes of climate change.
“Greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 60% since the Kyoto Protocol, and continue to grow,” he says, “despite the fact that many countries and cities have reduced their emissions using the traditional measurement method. So, clearly, something is missing. ”
The conclusions of the study, he hopes, will give local politicians new means of action.
Beyond the issues of transportation and housing, cities should review, for example, how they get their supplies, or the choice of materials used in construction sites.