Everybody talks about cutting their greenhouse-gas emissions but it’s hard to say you’ve cut them unless you know what you’re emitting in the first place.

That’s the thinking behind a just-released Greenhouse Gas Inventory for the city of Concord, which has set 100% renewable-energy goals for itself. Details will come out at a video conference next week, but here are some high points from the inventory of emissions throughout 2019:

  • Heating buildings was 35% of GHG emissions, followed by transportation fuel (28%), electricity use (18%), and industrial processes (15%).  The city’s goal is to renewable-ify electricity by 2030, but heating and driving, which are much harder to tackle, wouldn’t be 100% renewable until 2050.
  • Tree cover offsets about 2.5% of annual emissions
  • Commercial sector releases roughly half of emissions, residential almost half, local gov’t about 2%
  • “In 2019, the Concord community released an estimated 495,905 metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent (MT CO2e). For context, a metric ton is about the weight of a small car.”

Concord is a classic mid-sized, well-off New England city (population about 43,000). State government is the biggest employer and there’s not a ton of manufacturing, which cuts down on overall emissions.

You can see the analysis on the city website: https://www.concordnh.gov/Archive.aspx?AMID=191 It includes a whole slew of recommendations. A lot of them are variations of “weatherize the building to reduce energy use”.

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