The New York Times blogs about a recent case study focused on Allegheny County that highlights how hard it is for Pittsburgh and more than 1,000 other American cities to meet ambitious targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
At first glance, one would think that the county is on track. According to a study published this month in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, total carbon dioxide emissions in Allegheny County declined by an average of 1 percent a year from 1970 to 2000. And the Pittsburgh region’s current carbon reduction goals are, conveniently, 1 percent per year through 2023.
The difficulty here is that over the same three decades, Allegheny County lost one-quarter of its population and the bulk of its energy-intensive steel industry; that’s what accounts for the overall decline in fossil fuel emissions. Per-capita emissions were actually unchanged.
Original source: The New York Times
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