Low-carbon Gothenburg 2.0. Technological potentials and lifestyle changes. Mistra Urban Futures Reports 2014:02
When it comes to climate change, Gothenburg aims to be one of the world's most progressive cities and to reach sustainable emission levels by 2050. As a step in this direction there is a target that by 2035 the consumption based emissions for the residents of Gothenburg shall be less that 3.5 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per person.
This type of goal requires an approach where not only local emissions are targeted, but also the emissions to which our patterns of consumption give rise beyond geographical borders. The purpose of this report is to raise awareness of the options available for achieving this. The key question in this study is what technological and lifestyle changes that could enable emission levels of less than two tonnes per annum by 2050. Another important part of the analysis is how these radical reductions might affect people's wellbeing.
In order to be able to answer the above questions and to incorporate greenhouse gas emissions from all areas, a wide range of different types of data has been combined: statistics, reports as well as our own and other people's research. A bottom-up method was used in which greenhouse gas emissions was calculated on the basis of average data on how much Gothenburg residents drive their cars, how much electricity they use etc. All the figures for emissions refer to carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e), which means that the calculations include not only carbon dioxide but also other greenhouse gases, e.g. methane and nitrous oxide. Analyses were carried out for a high-income family with two cars living in a detached house, a low-income family without a car living in a rented apartment and for the average Gothenburg resident. The starting-point was an analysis of greenhouse gas emissions in 2010.
The emissions for the average resident in Gothenburg would, according to our calculations in Business as usual (BAU), increase from about 7.4 tonnes today to 10 tonnes by 2050. The increases in volume are not offset by improvements in efficiency.
The scenario Current climate policy scenario (CCP) indicates that the emissions from the average resident in Gothenburg would be just less than 5.5 tonnes by 2050. Emissions from cars, electricity and heating will be virtually eliminated. We assume that no stringent control measures have been introduced in order to significantly reduce emissions from air travel and food.
The assumptions in the scenario Low-carbon transition (LC) leads to emissions lower than two tonnes by 2050 for the average Gothenburg resident and for the low-income family, while the high-income family causes emissions of over 2.5 tonnes.
Low carbon cities