Just 25 mega-cities produce 52% of the world’s urban gas emissions, study says

Only 25 mega-cities produce 52 percent of the world’s urban gas emissions, according to a new study.

The report was published in the Frontiers in Sustainable Cities journal by the School of Environmental Science and Engineering in China. Urban areas only account for 2 percent of Earth’s surface, however, “Nowadays, more than 50% of the global population resides in cities,” said co-author Dr. Shaoqing Chen. “Cities are reported to be responsible for more than 70% of [greenhouse gas] GHG emissions, and they share a big responsibility for the decarbonization of the global economy.”

According to the study, megacities in Asia, including Shanghai and Tokyo, were top emitters. Cities in Europe, the US, and Australia had significantly higher emissions per capita than most cities in developing countries. Which does not necessarily mean they produce more emissions than countries with smaller populations.

The top four cities with the largest per capita reduction were Oslo, Houston, Seattle, and Bogotá. The top four cities with the largest per capita emissions increase were Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba, Johannesburg, and Venice. 

To reduce GHG emissions, co-author Chen said, “Breaking down the emissions by sector can inform us what actions should be prioritized to reduce emissions from buildings, transportation, industrial processes, and other sources.”  



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Antoinette is a community college student in Sacramento, California. She is a Politics Editor at Fact Based America, a correspondent for Campus Reform, and a student journalist. She previously worked for Turning Point USA as a High School Coordinator.

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