North American cities are producing substantially less wealth per ton of greenhouse gas emissions than their European counterparts.
Research has shown that if you know a country's GDP, you can pretty accurately estimate its carbon emissions. There's "almost a mechanical relationship" between the two. And as a depressing corollary: Emissions rise much faster in good times than they fall during, say, a global recession.
Cities in some parts of the world are already doing a substantially better job at decoupling these two trends than others, wringing the most wealth out of the smallest carbon footprint. These are the cities that produce the greatest amount of GDP per ton of greenhouse gasses emitted.
The Carbon Disclosure Project, along with AECOM and the C40 Cities, have calculated this "economic efficiency" for dozens of global cities that participated in a questionnaire on how they are preparing for climate change...