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Virtual carbon emissions in the big cities of middle-income countries
Urban Climate  (IF5.731),  Pub Date : 2021-09-28, DOI: 10.1016/j.uclim.2021.100986
Mohamed Hachaichi, Tahar Baouni

The Paris agreement nominates cities as a core element to set climate mitigation actions so humanity does not exceed the global climate budget fixed at 1170 (Gt) and eventually remains on track with the 2 °C guard rail. Current carbon footprint literature provides a deep analysis of cities belonging to high-income countries, but it is extremely limited when it comes to cities belonging to middle-income and low-income countries regardless of their global significance. This research bridges this gap through the computation of the carbon footprints of 252 cities located in middle-income countries. Results show that the average carbon footprint across all the urban areas of upper middle-income countries is estimated to 5.31 t CO2 and 3.41 t CO2 in the rural areas. Our research highlights that embodied carbon emissions are important in developing cities as in developed cities and that local authorities must take into account upstream emissions at city scale to move forward their second-generation environmental challenges within their climate-friendly portfolio.