When it comes to carbon emissions, don’t blame big cities -- blame the suburbs, says a new study from the University of California, Berkeley. The study, released Monday, found that population-dense cities contribute less greenhouse-gas emissions per person than other areas of the United States. However, these cities’ suburbs are so damaging to the environment that they effectively wipe out any climate benefits. The study will be published in science journal Environmental Science & Technology.
Using dozens of variables, researchers found that greenhouse-gas emissions -- largely from cars, trucks and other vehicles -- in the suburbs account for about 50 percent of all household emissions in the nation, even though less than 50 percent of the population lives in these areas.