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Assessing the Potential of Climate Change Mitigation Actions in Three Different City Types in Finland

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Author Info

  • Riikka Kyrö

    ()
    (Aalto University School of Engineering, P.O. Box 11200, Aalto 00076, Finland)

  • Jukka Heinonen

    ()
    (Aalto University School of Engineering, P.O. Box 11200, Aalto 00076, Finland)

  • Antti Säynäjoki

    ()
    (Aalto University School of Engineering, P.O. Box 11200, Aalto 00076, Finland)

  • Seppo Junnila

    ()
    (Aalto University School of Engineering, P.O. Box 11200, Aalto 00076, Finland)

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    Abstract

    As the effects of global warming have become more evident, ambitious short-term greenhouse gas emission reduction targets have been set in recent years. Many cities worldwide have adopted an active approach to climate change mitigation, but policy makers are not always knowledgeable of the true effects of their planned mitigation action. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of different mitigation strategies in achieving low-carbon urban communities. The assessment is conducted via means of consumption based hybrid life-cycle assessment, which allows the reduction potential to be analyzed from the perspective of an individual resident of the urban community. The assessed actions represent strategies that are both adopted by the case cities and possible to implement with current best practices in Finland. The four assessed actions comprise: (1) dense urban structure with less private driving; (2) the use of energy production based on renewable sources; (3) new low-energy residential construction; and (4) improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings. The findings show that the effectiveness depends greatly on the type of city, although in absolute terms the most significant reduction potential lies with lowering the fossil fuel dependence of the local energy production.

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    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/4/7/1510/pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Sustainability.

    Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 7 (July)
    Pages: 1510-1524

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    Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:4:y:2012:i:7:p:1510-1524:d:18820

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    Web page: http://www.mdpi.com/

    Related research

    Keywords: climate change; carbon footprint; greenhouse gases; urban communities; life-cycle assessment; consumption; energy;

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    References

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    1. Sovacool, Benjamin K. & Brown, Marilyn A., 2010. "Twelve metropolitan carbon footprints: A preliminary comparative global assessment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(9), pages 4856-4869, September.
    2. McGregor, Peter G & Munday, Max & Swales, J Kim & Turner, Karen, 2011. "How responsible is a region for its carbon emissions? An integrated input-output and CGE analysis," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2011-06, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
    3. Wagner, Gernot, 2010. "Energy content of world trade," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(12), pages 7710-7721, December.
    4. G. J. Treloar & P. E. D. Love & O. O. Faniran & U. Iyer-Raniga, 2000. "A hybrid life cycle assessment method for construction," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 5-9.
    5. Lenzen, Manfred & Dey, Christopher & Foran, Barney, 2004. "Energy requirements of Sydney households," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 375-399, July.
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    Cited by:
    1. Wiedenhofer, Dominik & Lenzen, Manfred & Steinberger, Julia K., 2013. "Energy requirements of consumption: Urban form, climatic and socio-economic factors, rebounds and their policy implications," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 696-707.

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