On Track to Become a Low Carbon Future City? First Findings of the Integrated Status Quo and Trends Assessment of the Pilot City of Wuxi in China(20 page pdf, Carmen Dienst, Clemens Schneider, Chun Xia, Mathieu Saurat, Thomas Fischer and Daniel Vallentin, Sustainability, Jul. 31, 2013)
Today we review a study that examined how the city of Wuxi intends to reduce its greenhouse gas emission intensity by 50% from a base year of 2005 to 2020. Emissions from this city of 6 million, if compared to emissions by countries world-wide, would rank as the 50th. The majority of these emissions come from the combustion of coal to generate electricity for industry and transportation and this is where the focus for lower carbon emissions are to be made.
The challenge for many other modern industrialized cities world-wide is to find ways to effectively change the way that they operate from a time when carbon energy was cheap and not seen as the cause of climate change.
“40% to 78% of global greenhouse gas emissions are estimated to originate in urban areas”
“This paper presents outcomes of the Sino-German Low Carbon Future Cities (LCFC) project…taking into account three project dimensions:
greenhouse gas emissions and related mitigation potentials;
vulnerability to climate change and adaptation options
material and resource uses”
“The study focuses on two pilot regions—one in China (Wuxi) and one in Germany (Düsseldorf)”
“The GDP per capita of Wuxi is high, resulting in relatively low carbon intensity. However, its relative emissions, i.e., CO2 per capita, are very high compared to Chinese average….For 2020, the Wuxi government has committed itself to reduce the carbon intensity of the city’s economy by 50% compared to 2005.”
“The main source for Wuxi’s emissions is the combustion of raw coal, which is needed to meet the high demand for energy. Electricity and heat production are main sources of emissions, representing more than half of the current carbon dioxide emissions”
“The enormous increase of road transport, its related emissions, air pollution and future infrastructure challenges, makes it a key sector to be considered for Wuxi’s intended low carbon future development.”
“In the future, the temperatures are projected to further increase in each month at least until 2099, whereas the increase in summer is lower than during winter. Heavy and very heavy rain days are projected to increase non-significantly.”
“Direct per capita CO2 emissions in Wuxi were 9.7 tons per capita in 2005, which is already above the Chinese average of 7.2 tons in 2011”
“although Wuxi’s city government has set reduction targets and developed a low carbon plan, the projection results show that more ambitious efforts are needed to overcome the challenges faced and reduce the total CO2 emissions and material uses.”