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This paper examines the patterns of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from urban areas in India—a rapidly growing and urbanizing nation. It uses a new dataset, Emission Dataset for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR) to estimate the urban share of national GHG emissions. It presents a geographic picture of emission variation by urban form (urban population size, area size, density, and growth rate), and economic (GDP and GDP per capita), geographic (location of emissions released: 20, 40, and 80 km from urban areas), and biophysical (ecosystem and climate: cooling degree days) characteristics. Dependent variables include emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and hexafluoride (SF6) from 14 source activities (agricultural soils, agricultural wastes, aviation, energy, fossil-fuel fires, fugitive escapes from solids, industry, livestock, navigation, non-road transport, oil and gas production, residential, road transport, and waste) for the year 2000 that are allocated on a 0.1° global grid. We examine 721 urban areas with more than 50,000 residents (accounting for 92% of the total Indian urban population), present findings, and compare our results with urban-level carbon footprint analyses. The results demonstrate that GHG emissions from urban areas in India are lower than that presented in the literature, and that differences in emissions levels vary with urban form, economic, geographic, and biophysical variables.


This article originally appeared in the journal Resources, Energy, and Development.



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