China's Greenest Cities, and Its Brownest: No Match for San Diego
In a new working paper called “The Greenness of China: Household Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Urban Development,” Siqi Zheng, Rui Wang, Edward L. Glaeser, and Matthew E. Kahn rank 74 Chinese cities in terms of their household carbon footprints (abstract here; pdf here).
Here are the “greenest”: Huanian, Suqian, Haikou, Nantong, Nanchang, Taizhou, Zhengjian, Shaoxing, Xining, and Xuzhou.
And here are the “brownest”: Daqing, Mudanjiang, Beijing, Qiqihaer, Yingchuan, Shenyang, Haerbin, Dalian, Baotou, and Liaoyang.
Along the way, the researchers make a lot of important points — that the Chinese proportion of emissions from residential and transportation, e.g., is far lower than the proportion in the U.S. And of course that carbon emissions in the U.S. are roughly 5 times per capita the current rate in China (although that ratio is expected to shrink, and hard).
So just how far apart are residential emissions in the U.S. and China? As the authors write:
Even in the dirtiest city (Daqing), a standardized household produces only one-fifth of that in America’s greenest city (San Diego).