Here is a very cool map showing the “average annual carbon footprints” of different parts of the state, down to the level of individual zip codes! It’s put together by the Cool Climate Institute at Berkeley using a carbon footprint calculator developed in an academic paper in the Environmental Science and Technology journal.
Here’s the state:
And a look at the metro area:
Play around with the map yourself, and check out how your zip code compares to others…
As you might expect, transportation plays a big role in the carbon footprint calculation and places where the urban form encourages driving and home type comes with higher energy costs have higher footprints. Incomes play a large role, too.
To me, the takeaway is that when we say “reduce CO2 emissions” we are really talking about changing the energy patterns in the suburbs and exurbs. That’s quite a challenge!