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7 - Changing places and changing emissions: comparing local, state, and United States emissions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 July 2009

William E. Easterling
Affiliation:
Professor of Geography and Earth Sytem Science Pennsylvania State University
Colin Polsky
Affiliation:
NOAA/UCAR Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellow with the Research and Assessment Systems for Sustainability program Harvard University
Douglas G. Goodin
Affiliation:
Associate Professor of Geography Kansas State University
Michael W. Mayfield
Affiliation:
Professor Department of Geography and Planning, Appalachian State University
William A. Muraco
Affiliation:
Research Professor & Professor Emeritus University of Toledo
Brent Yarnal
Affiliation:
Professor of Geography and Director of the Center for Integrated Assessment Pennsylvania State University
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Summary

The greenhouse gas emission inventories that currently inform abatement policy discussions have been developed almost exclusively from national-scale data, leavened only rarely with state or provincial inventories. Yet much of the capacity to abate greenhouse gas emissions necessarily resides within local institutions and communities. Policy may be debated and established at national and global scales, but it can be implemented only primarily by local action. This chapter examines how much information is lost when greenhouse gas emissions are estimated only at national scales (the United States in this instance) rather than at state or local levels, as in the four Global Change and Local Places study areas. That information may be critical to linking global and national policies to local actors and behavior.

Comparison of differences in the composition of greenhouse gas emission sources at three nested scales (national, state, local) for the four Global Change and Local Places study sites reveals good agreement in the by-gas composition of greenhouse gas emissions among national, state, and local inventories. Considerable differences are evident, however, in the by-source composition of greenhouse gas emissions among national, state, and local inventories. Geographical sovereignty is evident with respect to the composition of emissions, but geographical sovereignty does not hold for the sources of those emissions, suggesting that continuous monitoring of state and local emissions sources is needed to track geographical and temporal deviations from national trends.

Fugitive emissions and global perspectives

Human-induced greenhouse gases, once released into the atmosphere, recognize no boundaries.

Type
Chapter
Information
Global Change and Local Places
Estimating, Understanding, and Reducing Greenhouse Gases
, pp. 143 - 157
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2003

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References

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