Uncertainties of Estimating a Town’s Carbon Footprint– Case Study El Gouna, Egypt
More details
Hide details
Technische Universtität Campu El Gouna, Berlin, Germany
Inwista – Institut für Wirtschaft und Stadt, Berlin, Germany
Online publication date: 2019-04-15
Publication date: 2019-03-01
Civil and Environmental Engineering Reports 2019;29(1):28-38
Carbon accounting has become a valuable tool for expressing the fossil energy demand of products, organizational entities, or entire countries. About a decade ago, cities also began accounting their carbon emissions. The first major city to do so was London in 2009, stating a carbon footprint of 4.84 tCO2eq/(year*capita) for 2008. Nowadays, multiple rankings compare the carbon emissions of cities. For example, the Urban Land Magazine lists São Paulo as the city with the world’s lowest carbon emissions (1.4 CO2eq/(year*capita)). Such listings typically present the depicted emission values as scientifically indisputable numbers. However, a closer look at the applied methodology frequently reveals a wide range of implicit, often undisclosed assumptions at the foundation of the calculations. This paper analyses the uncertainties of carbon accounting on the city scale, using the example of the Red Sea resort town of El Gouna. The estimated value of El Gouna’s carbon footprint for the year 2014 is 14.3 tCO2eq/(year*capita). Third Scope emissions constitute the majority of El Gouna’s carbon footprint. Varying their underlying assumptions only slightly can lead to alterations of the results of more than 50%, questioning the robustness of the findings. To increase the robustness and the comparability of carbon accounting across cities, this paper suggests emphasizing Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, while limiting the role of Scope 3 emissions.
UN-Habitat 2011. Global Report on Human Settlements 2011 – Cities and Climate Change.
UN-Habitat (n.d.) 2018. Hot Cities: Battle-Ground for Climate Change. [18 June 2018]. Available from http://mirror.unhabitat.org/do..., p.1.
World Bank 2010. Cities and Climate Change: An Urgent Agenda.
Fong, WK, Sotos, M, Doust, M, Schultz, S, Marques, A and Deng-Beck, Ch 2015. Global protocol for community-scale greenhouse gas emission inventories. An accounting and reporting standard for cities. Washington, District of Columbia, Ottawa, Ontario: World Resources Institute; Canadian Electronic Library.
Lewitz, D 2012. How do greenhouse gas emissions compare in cities around the world? [December 2012]. Available from http://www.hopesandfears.com.
McKinsey & Company 2010. Impact of the financial crisis on carbon economics – Version 2.1 of the global greenhouse gas abatement cost curve. Available from https://www.mckinsey.com/.
Bloomberg 2015. New Energy Outlook 2015. [18 June 2018]. Available from http://www.bloomberg.com/compa....
ESMAP 2015. MACTool. [1 October 2015]. Available from www.esmap.org.
Orascom Development (n.d.). 2016. El Gouna: Red Sea, Egypt. [31 January 2016]. Available from https://elgounaie.s3.amazonaws....
Aziz, SA 2016. Sustainability Roadmap – Life as it should be. Community Forum El Gouna 2030, 13. February 2016.
Berger, J 2017. Copenhagen, Striving To Be Carbon-Neutral: Part 1. The Economic Payoffs. Huffington Post [18 June 2018]. Available from: https://www.huffingtonpost.com....
AMEInfo 2018. El Gouna receives Global Green City award. AMEInfo. [18 June 2018]. Available from https://ameinfo.com/money/econ....
Banhardt, Ch and Hartenstein, F 2016. A Makeshift Approach to Carbon Accounting in Egyptian Towns. Procedia Environmental Sciences 34,152-163.
Hartenstein, F and Banhardt, Ch 2014. Pathways towards a Carbon Neutral El Gouna – An Interdisciplinary Case Study. First Arab Forum on Sustainable Communities and Green Building. UN Habitat, Cairo, Egypt, December 2014.
Davies, T 2003. Calculation of CO2 emissions from fuels. People of University of Exeter, February 2003. https://people.exeter.ac.uk/TW....
Isermann, R 2010. Elektronisches Management motorischer Fahrzeugantriebe.Wiesbaden: Vieweg +Teubner.
German Trade and Investment GTAI 2015. Tourismusbranche in Ägypten atmet auf und investiert. [18 June 2018]. Available from: http://www.gtai.de/GTAI/Naviga....
Brander, M, Sood, A, Wylie, Ch, Haughton, A and Lovell, J 2011. Electricity-specific emission factors for grid electricity. Ecometrica,August 2011. [14 June 2018]. Available from: https://ecometrica.com/assets/....
Mansour, Y, Taha, W, Kondic, S and Tarabieh, K 2017. AUC Carbon Footprint 2016. Cairo: AUC Press.
WU, Weather Underground (n.d.) 2018. Historical Weather. [18 June 2018]. Available from: https://www.wunderground.com/h....
Abdrabou, N, Banhardt, Ch and Hartenstein, F 2016. Reducing Carbon Emissions in Egypt’s Building Sector – The Ecological Case for Bearing Walls. Sustainable Built Environment 2016 conference proceedings, Cairo, Egypt, 29/11 – 1/12/2016.
Burk, P 2011. Amount of carbon released when making and using products. [18 June 2018]. Available from http://www.co2list.org/files/c....
Carbon Independent 2015. Aviation sources. [18 June 2018]. Available from http://www.carbonindependent.o....
Aurecon Group Brand Pty. Ltd. 2018. Responsible Environmental Footprints. [18 June 2018]. Available from https://www.aurecongroup.com/a....
Journals System - logo
Scroll to top