The Paris climate summit ended last year with landmark national commitments for greenhouse gas reductions, but much of the hard work of reducing emissions will fall on cities to change their residents’ behavior.
To do that, cities need data on current carbon emissions, and a new map of neighborhood-by-neighborhood carbon consumption in the San Francisco Bay Area provides this critical information, showing in detail how the region contributes to global climate change.
The first-of-its-kind interactive map was produced by the University of California, Berkeley’s CoolClimate Network and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and covers census block groups – neighborhoods of several hundred to a few thousand households – in the nine-county area.
UC Berkeley researchers calculated the carbon footprints based on household consumption, regardless of where on the globe emissions occurred, as opposed to more common inventories that only track direct local emissions. For example, if a computer was made in China but purchased by a household in Berkeley, all emissions from the production of the computer are allocated to the household’s Berkeley neighborhood.
The CoolClimate Network last year published an online, interactive map of carbon footprints by ZIP code for the entire country. The new Bay Area inventory will be used as a pilot project for a statewide inventory by 2016, and could serve as a model for a similar inventory covering the entire U.S.
Direct to New Interactive Map
More About the Map and Project in the Complete Announcement