Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, releases study of local emissions

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Portal Ecology portal

According to the Cambridge Chronicle, a report issued by the city of Cambridge on the topic of greenhouse gas emissions claimed that despite a two-year old pledge to reduce harmful emissions, the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere in the city has increased. Since 1990, carbon dioxide emissions have increased by 27% in the city, mostly due to industrial processes, says the paper.

In 1999, the city joined Cities for Climate Protection, a coalition of towns in Massachusetts interested in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. In 2002, the city released a study, the Cambridge Climate Protection Plan, which set emission reduction goals for the city. The plan proposed that "we reduce GHG emissions by 20 percent below 1990 levels. This means the community needs to reduce and prevent annual GHG emissions of 494,400 tons of carbon dioxide."

While the city has failed thus far to reduce its emissions, it has been experimenting with alternative transportation technology in its vehicles. According to the city's website, Cambridge currently owns and operates 20 electric vehicles and 1 compressed natural gas truck. Additionally, most of Cambridge's fleet of diesel vehicles are currently running on 20% biodiesel, which is "derived from domestically produced vegetable oil," according to the Cambridge Department of Public Works website.