Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The City of Cambridge and local organizations have long supported the scientific consensus that climate change is a real global phenomenon. It is understood that climate change is caused by excessive anthropogenic, or human caused, greenhouse gas emissions being pumped into our atmosphere. This directly puts the health and vitality of Cambridge at risk.

Greenhouse gas emissions inventories are developed to help government leaders and community members understand how much GHG emissions are generated from the various activities in their community. This information is used to plan actions that will reduce emissions and mitigate climate change.

For cities, GHG emissions are generally compiled at both the government operations scale and community scale. They include all measurable emissions over the course of a year, and may be completed on an annual basis, or every few years.

Emissions Inventories are also separated into different Scopes, which helps to differentiate emissions occurring physically within the city (Scope 1), from those occurring outside the city (Scope 3) and from the use of electricity, steam, and/or heating/cooling supplied by grids which may or may not cross the city boundaries (Scope 2).

Emissions infographic

Source: Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventories

In Cambridge, emissions associated with government operations are tracked separately from community GHG emissions and are also included in the community-wide inventory. For example, in the community inventory GHG emissions from commercial energy use includes the GHG emissions from energy consumed by municipal buildings, and GHG emissions from vehicles includes the GHG emissions from miles driven by municipal fleet vehicles.

For more information on the Municipal GHG Inventory click here.

For more information on the Community GHG Inventory click here.