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Cities and greenhouse gas reduction: Policy makers or policy takers?


  • Jaccard, Mark
  • Murphy, Rose
  • Zuehlke, Brett
  • Braglewicz, Morgan


A growing number of cities have set ambitious mid-century targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction and increased use of renewable energy. Using the municipal jurisdiction of Vancouver, Canada as a case study, we integrated an energy-economy model with an urban land-use and infrastructure model to test the possible actions resulting from policies potentially available to this city government in pursuit of its 2050 target of 100 percent renewable energy and an 80 percent reduction of GHG emissions. We found that, while cities like the one we studied have some important options for reducing energy use by their inhabitants, they may lack the authority to completely transform the energy system, especially for causing a wholesale switch to renewable energy for deep decarbonization. To achieve such ambitious energy and GHG targets, cities with jurisdictional powers comparable to the city we studied are dependent to some degree on complementary GHG and energy policies from senior levels of government.

Suggested Citation

  • Jaccard, Mark & Murphy, Rose & Zuehlke, Brett & Braglewicz, Morgan, 2019. "Cities and greenhouse gas reduction: Policy makers or policy takers?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 134(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:134:y:2019:i:c:s0301421519304537
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2019.07.011

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Rhodes, Ekaterina & Hoyle, Aaron & McPherson, Madeleine & Craig, Kira, 2022. "Understanding climate policy projections: A scoping review of energy-economy models in Canada," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 153(C).
    5. Ekaterina Rhodes & Kira Craig & Aaron Hoyle & Madeleine McPherson, 2021. "How Do Energy-Economy Models Compare? A Survey of Model Developers and Users in Canada," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(11), pages 1-39, May.

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