Nashville's greenhouse gas emissions exceed U.S. average

By Michael Cass • THE TENNESSEAN • February 11, 2009

Metro government produces about 5 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions generated in Nashville, according to an inventory ordered by Mayor Karl Dean.

The inventory, which the city plans to release today, also shows that the city is slightly above the national average and below the state average for emissions produced by each resident. The findings are expected to spur recommendations of steps the city can take to reduce its impact on the environment.

“A lot of these initiatives are not only the right thing to do for the environment, but they also save money,” said Jenna Smith, environmental sustainability manager in the mayor’s office.

Produced by cars, buildings, water and sewage treatment, and other activities, greenhouse gases absorb infrared radiation. That traps heat in the atmosphere and leads to global warming, scientists say.

Until now, Metro never had such specific data about its environmental impact, Smith said. The study by the Metro Health Department and Gresham Smith and Partners found the entire city produced approximately 14.4 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalents, or 23.9 tons per person, in 2005.

The national average was 23.8 tons per capita. The state average was 24.9.

Al Gore lives here. What gives? The air in downtown Nashville is horrible in the summer time.

NP NowPublic

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