Thursday, May 29, 2008

New Jersey's narrowing carbon footprint

This unexpected news arrived today from the smart-growth group, New Jersey Future:

"New Jersey residents generally emit less greenhouses gases per person than the typical residents in the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas."

That took me by surprise, I must say.

The finding comes from a new report from the Brookings Institution.
In a press release, New Jersey Future explained:

"The report, titled Shrinking the Carbon Footprint of Metropolitan America, found that residents of the nation’s largest metro areas—which include 16 of New Jersey ’s 21 counties—have a smaller per-person carbon footprint than citizens in the nation as a whole. Although carbon emissions from urban centers continue to climb, the carbon footprint of someone living in a large metro area is 14 percent smaller than the average American’s and, in recent years, has expanded by only half as much.

"The academic researchers also found that regions with more compact development patterns and convenient access to rail transit offer a more energy- and carbon-efficient lifestyle than more sprawling, automobile-dependent areas.

"The 100 largest metros emit only 56 percent of the U.S. transportation and residential carbon emissions while housing 65 percent of the nation’s population and producing 76 percent of the nation’s economic output, the report found. "

NJ Future's press release contains attachments from the Brookings Institute study with more detailed information regarding per capita carbon emissions by metropolitan area.

Here's today's New York Times story on the report.

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