Only 25 cities, mostly Chinese, are responsible for more than half of greenhouse gases of urban origin, Reuters reports. In addition to Chinese cities, Moscow and Tokyo are among the biggest polluters.
A group of Chinese scientists analyzed emissions from 167 cities in 53 countries and published the results in Frontiers in Sustainable Cities.
Emissions from Moscow, Tokyo and 23 metropolises in China, as it turned out, account for 52% of all emissions from the studied cities. Kyiv was not included in this list.
Urban emissions, total. Infographics: Ting Wei, Junliang Wu, Shaoqing Chen
At the same time, if we take into account the amount of emissions per capita, the picture is somewhat different: cities in developed countries generally produce more greenhouse gases than in poorer countries.
Urban emissions per capita. Infographics: Ting Wei, Junliang Wu, Shaoqing Chen
The authors of the study emphasize that not all cities provide up-to-date data on carbon emissions and for some information has not been updated since 2005. Therefore, it is difficult to compare the contributions of megacities to climate change.
A similar study in 2018, which covered 13,000 cities, found that for every 100 cities where a tenth of the world’s population lives, only 18% of the carbon footprint is responsible.
Dan Hornweg, a professor at Ontario University of Technology and a World Bank associate, said it was easier for developed cities to cut emissions: “They’ve made tons of emissions on the road to development, while China is at an early stage.”