Your NPR news source

Study: New Yorkers' Carbon Footprints Smaller than Chicagoans'

SHARE Study: New Yorkers' Carbon Footprints Smaller than Chicagoans'

A new report says Chicagoans have a larger carbon footprint than residents of New York and Los Angeles.

The left-leaning Brookings Institution ranked 100 metro areas by how much carbon dioxide each resident is responsible for each year. Defying images of smoggy skies, the average L.A. resident polluted the second least. New York—4th least. Chicago was farther down the list at 15th, hurt—in part—says study co-author Andrea Sarzynski, by heavy truck traffic.

SARZYNSKI: Chicago gets hammered on freight. There’s a lot of freight traffic coming in to Chicago, going out and moving through it.

Weather also played a factor. To survive Chicago winters, most residents rely on natural gas.

SARZYNSKI: And, on a per unit energy basis, these sources tend to be much more emitting than electricity, for instance.

All in all, the study found each Chicagoan contributes close to two metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. That’s still well below the U.S. average.

The Latest