Greenhouse gases and Cincinnati

The City of Cincinnati recognizes that climate plays an important role in the quality of life, economic well-being, and long term sustainability of our City and region.  Greenhouse gases (GHG) like Carbon Dioxide, Methane, and Nitrous Oxide as the result of human activity are collecting in the Earth’s atmosphere at levels that are capable of altering our climate. The Green Cincinnati Plan outlines steps we can take to mitigate our region’s environmental impact and one of those steps is a greenhouse gas inventory. Cincinnati’s first GHG inventory was conducted in 2006, and serves as the baseline from which our climate impact is measured.  This summary of Cincinnati's 2015 Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Analysis shows that our efforts, combined with changes in the region’s energy supply, have been effective in reducing our emissions output.  With this information the City of Cincinnati can measure our progress on our path to sustainability and provides data to inform policy and decision making.
Changes In Cincinnati Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Sector from 2006 to 2015

Cincinnati's Plan of Action

  • Short Term Target - Reduce GHG emissions 8% below 2006 levels by 2012 - ACHIEVED
  • Medium Term - Reduce GHG emissions 40% below 2006 levels by 2028
  • Long Term - Reduce GHG emissions 84% below 2006 levels by 2050

Government Emissions

The Government emissions inventory includes emissions generated from municipal operations, including energy used in water and waste water treatment, city building and facilities operations, streetlights, traffic signals, vehicle fleet and aviation fuel use.
Reductions can be attributed to
  • Street light conversion to LED lightbulbs
  • Facility energy improvement upgrades/retrofits
  • Upgrades to Metropolitan Sewer District's incinerators
  • Installation of solar panels on some City owned facilities
Changes from 2006-2015
Government Emissions by Sector

Community Emissions

The Community emissions inventory includes emissions generated from commercial, industrial, and residential gas and electric consumption, motor vehicle transportation, and solid waste generation.
Reductions can be attributed to
  • Incentives for commercial energy upgrades offered by Duke
  • Grid decarbonization
  • 100% Renewable energy offered to residents and businesses through the City's Energy Aggregation Program
  • Population loss from 2006 to 2015 (approximately 10%)
  • Improved waste diversion
Changes from 2006-2015
Community Emissions by Sector

Citywide Emissions

Taken together, Government and Community emissions total approximately 7.6M tons CO2e, representing a citywide reduction of 18.4% since the 2006 baseline was established at 9.3M tons CO2e. The largest increases in emissions occurred in the industrial energy and vehicular travel sector, while the largest reductions were seen in the commercial and residential energy sectors.

Looking Ahead

From 2006 to 20015, Cincinnati achieved a city-wide 18.4% reduction in GHG emissions. Based on targets originally established in the 2008 Green Cincinnati Plan, this decrease indicates that the city has met its goal of a 2% reduction in GHG emissions per year.
The City of Cincinnati will continue to work to reduce the region’s emissions through the implementation of recommendations of the Green Cincinnati Plan.

Green Cincinnati Plan
For more information on how to reduce contributions to global climate change and make Cincinnati a healthier place to live view the Green Cincinnati Plan.
Cincinnati 2015 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory
For more detail information on Cincinnati Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory click here