City carbon budgets: a policy mechanism to reduce vehicle travel and greenhouse gas emissions

Local governments can have a large effect on carbon emissions through land use zoning, transport infrastructure investments, building design approvals, and support of transportation alternatives. Many cities have climate action plans that contain a disparate mix of mostly voluntary greenhouse gas emission reduction proposals. This paper describes City Carbon Budgets - a single integrated climate policy instrument for local governments. We identify and evaluate options for creating an effective and acceptable institutional structure, allocating emission targets to localities, measuring emissions, providing flexibility and incentives to local governments, and assuring compliance. We also discuss the likely costs of such a policy. Our recommended policy structure is based on the principles of effectiveness, equity, efficiency, administrative ease, and political acceptability. This proposal is premised on our understandings of the institutional realities of American cities, but we believe the concept of city carbon budgets is generalizable to cities and other local governments worldwide.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 14p
  • Monograph Title: Transport and energy: the challenge of climate change: International Transport Forum 2008, Leipzig

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01385580
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 22 2012 7:01PM