Using life cycle assessment to inform municipal climate mitigation planning
Sammendrag: Local governments can play a key role in reducing emissions associated with local energy use. 17 Polish municipalities provided data on energy use and CO2 emissions for 2015. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was used to calculate lifecycle impact indicators for greenhouse gases, particulate matter, acidification and eutrophication associated with the annual energy demand in each municipality. Results showed that impacts from energy use increase almost proportionally with total energy used in the participating municipalities due to the heavy reliance on fossil fuels. Analysis of two municipalities of similar size showed that impacts can be attributed to different usage sectors. For one municipality, energy plans should focus on reducing emissions from private transport and associated fuel use. For the other, energy plans should focus on reducing energy demand from residential buildings. This means that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ energy plan, which may be developed at a national level, would not fit all municipalities. The application of LCA allows for identifying and informing energy planning with impact reduction potential for multiple environmental pressures. Analysis of the provided energy use and CO2 data showed large uncertainties in CO2 emission intensities and allowing for sufficient time and guidance in the energy and emissions accounting is recommended.