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”.
Light rail Concord to Boston, please. And frequent, reliable electric bus system, even if at the outset few people use it. How about frequent bus service from nearby communities? Keep the buses clean and keep them running until people discover and trust them. We just spent trillions to help us through this viral mess. Let’s finally recognize that hurricanes, fires, floods, and droughts are going to cost us way more than steps to lessen them will.