2012 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory January 14, 2015

Executive Summary

The City of Atlanta Office of Sustainability selected the Global Protocol for Community-scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC)1 as the framework for its citywide 2012 emissions report. By selecting this protocol, the City of Atlanta is consistent with international standards. This is the first City of Atlanta GPC report and as such, the level selected was BASIC. This level will serve as a baseline for more comprehensive reports in the future. This report included emissions from electricity and natural gas consumption, vehicles, city-owned landfills, municipal solid waste (MSW) generated inside the city but sent to landfills out of the city limits, and emissions from wastewater treatment plants (WWTP), the Metropolitan Atlanta
Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), and the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

All these emitting sources are in compliance with the GPC protocol.

In 2012, the City of Atlanta emitted approximately 8.9 Million metric tons of CO2 equivalent (MmTCO2e). More than half of these emissions were the result of electricity consumption, on road vehicles emitted 28%, and burning natural gas accounted for approximately 10% of the total. The emissions from municipal solid waste (MSW) sent to landfills out of the city limits generated 4% of the total emissions; wastewater treatment plants emitted 1%, the airport 2% (excluding out-of-boundary aviation fuel emissions, which are considered out of scope for BASIC level reporting), and MARTA generated 2% as well. The major user of electricity was the commercial sector with 64% of consumption, followed by the residential sector with 25%, and the industrial sector with 5%. MARTA and the airport combined, consumed 5% of the electricity. The biggest consumer of natural gas was the industrial sector with 40%, followed by the residential sector with 31%, the commercial sector with 24%, and MARTA with 5%.

The City of Atlanta, through the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, is focusing its efforts on increasing energy efficiency in commercial buildings through programs such as the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge, which goal is to reduce commercial buildings energy consumption by 20% in 2020, and the Advanced Commercial Buildings Initiative, which target is to reduce energy consumption in small buildings (< 50,000 sqf). The City of Atlanta was also selected to participate in the City Energy Project (CEP) along with other nine cities. The goal of the CEP is to craft an integrated framework of policies and programs that will cut energy waste in large buildings. To reduce on-road vehicle emissions, the city is implementing programs through the Power to Change initiative, including doubling the number of alternative fuel infrastructure by 2015, doubling the miles of bicycle lanes/cycle tracks by 2016, and promoting programs such as state tax rebates for the purchasing of EV vehicles and other available rebates to install EV charging stations. The City of Atlanta is also working on a new Climate Action Plan to be more aggressive on emissions reductions.

Since this is the first GHG inventory following GPC, patterns of consumption and emission reductions, or any other deeper analysis of data, were left to future reports.

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