Seattle Consumption Based Emissions Inventory

Overview

The City of Seattle has developed a consumption-based emissions inventory (CBEI) which estimates the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with all the goods and services consumed within the community, no matter where they are produced (including the extraction of raw materials, manufacturing, and global transportation). This inventory looks at all of the emissions associated with the food we eat, the things we buy, how we travel, and the homes we live in.

Results

The CBEI analysis shows that in 2019, the typical Seattle household was responsible for roughly 33 metric tons of CO2e annually (MTCO2e), or about 16 MTCO2e per person. For context, 33 MTCO2e is equivalent to 7 gasoline-powered passenger vehicles driven for one year. With 343,988 households in the city, this is a total of roughly 11 million MTCO2e in 2019 attributable to residents of Seattle.

City of Seattle Consumption-based Emissions Inventory, 2019

Among the 135 neighborhoods or census tracts within the city, there is substantial variation in the key driving demographic variables and hence in consumption-based emissions. The highest-emitting neighborhood has per-household emissions of 59 MTCO2e, while households in the lowest-emitting neighborhood have emissions of 17 MTCO2e – roughly a 3-fold difference.

Consumption-based emissions map (MTCO2e per household)

Action

The City of Seattle is committed to addressing consumption-based emissions, and this inventory is an important first step.

  • Under the framework of the One Seattle Climate Justice Agenda, Seattle is investing to support policies and programs aimed at building an equitable clean energy economy, ensuring a just transition away from fossil fuels, and building healthy and climate resilient communities.
  • Seattle is also building toward an inclusive circular economy, where all materials, water, and resources are valued, and nothing is wasted.