According to a study published in the Frontiers journal, a mere 25 cities, almost all of them located in China accounted for over 50% of global greenhouse gas emissions, out of a sample of 167 urban centers around the world.
Researchers found that in per capita terms, emissions from the wealthiest countries of the world were typically higher than those from urban hubs in emerging economies.
According to sources, the study evaluated greenhouse gas emission rates reported by 167 cities from 53 countries and observed that 23 Chinese cities – including Beijing, Shanghai, and Handan - along with Tokyo and Moscow contributed to 52% of the total.
The study also involved more cities from China, the United States, India, and the European Union owing to their lion’s share in global emissions as well as significance to the climate debate.
Environmental Scientist, and Co-author of the study, Shaoqing Chen, was quoted saying that the findings highlight the significant role of cities in cutting emission levels. He further added that countries are bound to suffer from climate change unless they exercise preventive measures.
Average global temperatures have gone up by over 1°C compared to the pre-industrial baseline and are expected to cross the 1.5-2°C limit fixed by the Paris Agreement, sources claimed.
Meanwhile, scientists warned that some of the data used in the study were inconsistent, with certain cities providing statistics dating as far back as 2005.
Ontario Tech University Professor, and former World Bank advisor for climate change and sustainable cities, Dan Hoornweg, stated that while developed economies can afford to grow while reducing emissions, the world is advancing at different speeds.
Developed economies had generated plenty of emissions on the way to get there, and currently, China is in a similar phase, he explained.
Notably, the study affirms scientists' expectations that Chinese cities with high emission rates are predominantly major manufacturing hubs, while in developed nations, areas with the highest per capita rates have a propensity for strong consumption levels.
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