Sunday, April 21, 2013

Fairfax County Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory released

Fairfax County recently released their first Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory. It shouldn't be surprising that 37% of greenhouse gas emissions in Fairfax Co. come from transportation. Cyclists contributed 0.0% of those emissions, at least while riding their bikes. It would have been nice had bicycling been mentioned in the report.

Perhaps when the Silver Line service begins this will change, but 70% of the increase in emissions between 2006 and 2010 was from commuters passing through the county. Sprawling development in Loudoun Co. didn't help.
In total, residential, commercial, industrial and government buildings’ consumption of electricity, natural gas and fuel oil produced 63 percent of the total emissions. Transportation accounted for 37 percent.

Between 2006 and 2010, total emissions from passenger cars increased by nearly 4 percent. Emissions associated with commuters passing through the county to other destinations accounted for 70 percent of the increase.

This trend demonstrates how mass transit, like Metro, can reduce greenhouse gases. This is one reason Fairfax County is concentrating future growth in urban centers served by transit, such as Tysons. Transit-oriented development combats sprawl, reduces traffic congestion and curbs greenhouse gas emissions.

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