Home » Climate Change » Kansas City GHG Emissions Top 9.9 Million Metric Tons in 2000

Kansas City GHG Emissions Top 9.9 Million Metric Tons in 2000


Kansas City published its Greenhouse Gas inventory in July, 2008, and like Columbia, they studied emissions in the years 2000 and 2005. They studied both emissions from the community as a whole and from government operations.

KC Community Totals by SectorLet’s do the community side first. In 2000, total Kansas City community emissions were 9,569,764 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e). By 2005, they had grown 4% to 9,949,198 MTCO2e. Per capita, this represents 21.65 MTCO2e in 2000. Statewide statistics for that year were published in short tons, not metric tons. Doing the conversion, statewide emissions were 26.2 MTCO2e per person. Kansas City is a significant commercial and industrial center, so I’m not sure why their emissions were lower than statewide emissions. In 2005, per capita emissions were 22.39 MTCO2e, an increase of 3.4%. I don’t have statewide statistics for 2005.

KC Community % by SectorThe first graph shows community emissions by sector. Emissions from all sectors grew. The second graph shows percent of total emissions represented by each sector. Only the industrial sector became a smaller percentage of total community emissions. Transportation accounted for the largest slice of GHG emissions in both years, followed by the commercial sector, and the residential sector.

KC Community by SourceKansas City also studied its emissions in 2000 by source. This graph shows the percent of total community emissions attributable to each source: electricity was the energy source that accounted for the most GHG emissions, almost half.

The Kansas City GHG inventory also studies emissions attributable to operations of the municipal government. Though these are a subset of community emissions, they are studied separately because the government has direct control over them. Local governments often wish to demonstrate leadership in abating GHG emissions. Between 2000 and 2005 the Kansas City government achieved a 6.8% reduction in emissions. The reductions were attributed to several programs: energy conservation programs in several major municipal buildings, the water services department, the aviation department (the Kansas City International Airport), and to the installation of energy efficient traffic signals.

KC Govt by SectorThough the report doesn’t provide raw numbers, it does provide a graphic presenting the emissions from the various sectors of the municipal government. The report is in the public domain, so I’ve copied the chart and posted it on the right. It shows that providing energy to government buildings and treating potable water and sewage account for the largest portions of government GHG emissions. The provision of potable water often accounts for a significant portion of local government emissions because the pumps that provide the water consume large amounts of energy.

Electricity accounted for 74.5% of Kansas City’s emissions, dwarfing emissions from every other source. This will be a common finding in emissions from local government operations across Missouri. Electricity is a very flexible energy source that is used for many purposes, from HVAC to lighting to operating tools and equipment. In addition, in Missouri most electricity is generated by burning coal, and coal is one of the most GHG intense fuels.


“Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory and Forecast,” in City of Kansas City, Missouri, Climate Protection Plan, available on website of the City of Kansas City, http://www.marc.org/environment/airq/pdf/CP-Plan-7-16-08.pdf.

Table 4: Annual Estimates of the Population for Incorporated Places in Missouri, 4/1/2000 – 7/1/2009. U.S. Census Bureau, https://www.census.gov/popest/data/cities/totals/2009/SUB-EST2009-4.html.

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