Iowa City, Iowa, and Johnson County, Kansas, have reported a decrease in emissions.

Iowa City, Iowa, and Johnson County, Kansas, have reported a decrease in emissions. 

Photo: Government Fleet

Iowa City, Iowa, has a climate goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030 and achieve net-zero emission levels by 2050.

The city recently published a report on its progress in obtaining this goal. It covers a range of topics related to climate action, including transportation, grants, and greenhouse gas emissions, with data from 2018 to 2022.

It stated Iowa City has had a downward trend in greenhouse gas emissions, despite an uptick in 2021, and an increase in EV use.

The city has had success in promoting EVs, including the development of a public charging network.

Iowa City Climate Action Coordinator, Sarah Gardner, stated that the city aims to have the equivalent of 450 charging stations per million people, and has been a leader in installing charging stations in public areas such as parking ramps.

New Study From Kansas

A new study by the Johnson County, Kansas, Department of Health and Environment shows that greenhouse gas emissions in Johnson County decreased by about 35% per capita between 2013 and 2020, despite an 8% population growth.

There was also a community-wide decrease in emissions of about 30%, with emissions per resident falling from 21 metric tons in 2013 to 13 metric tons in 2020.

However, there were some caveats, such as electrical use potentially being overcounted in 2013, and the pandemic causing a sharp decrease in emissions in 2020.

Johnson County Report Findings

Data from various sources were used in the report to determine the emissions generated by residents in Johnson County.

However, there was no requirement to measure the atmosphere surrounding the area. The report also assessed the performance of county operations and presented data on emissions from buildings, transportation, solid waste, and wastewater.

The study revealed that 59% of emissions in the county come from the built environment, 38% from transportation, and 3% from solid waste and wastewater.

Moreover, the report highlighted a significant increase of 50% in emissions from refrigerants, which includes leakage from air conditioners, commercial refrigeration, and fire suppression systems.

The calculations were based on the county's share of Kansas refrigerant emissions, as the Environmental Protection Agency estimated.

The largest source of emissions in 2020 was from vehicles and transportation, accounting for 38% of the county's greenhouse gas output.

Additionally, off-road transportation vehicles, such as construction, mining equipment, and agriculture, contributed to about 6% of total community emissions, showing a 72% increase.

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