Evaluating City Carbon Carrying Capacity: How many people can Algiers sustain?

M. Hachaichi, J.K. Kazak, T. Baouni


Abstract: The current study sets to determine theoretical paths in order to balance Algiers CO2 emissions with city’s carbon sink capacity by i) calculating carbon sink potential (forest land, wetlands, soil and technology) and ii) calculating Algiers’ carbon emissions considering territorial emissions (Scope 1 and 2) within Algiers’ administrative boundaries. The analysis shows that Algiers carbon emissions (estimated to 392 9243 t CO2) exceed the city carbon sink capacity (estimated to 157 4044 t CO2) by 1.5 times. Thus, per capita carbon emissions in Algiers for the year 2016 were estimated to 1.24 tones CO2/y composed by 0.84 tones CO2/y (67.7%) from the combustion of fossil-fuels and 0.39 tones CO2 (31.4%) from the consumption of electricity. This study exhibits that to live within Algiers’ carbon budget, urban policy-makers should endeavour three major paths to accommodate Algiers’carbon deficit: either i) to limit Algiers’s population to 1 268 963 inhabitants –that means 1/3 of Algiers’ current population size-. ii) increase Algiers’s ecological assets area to 36 709 ha. Or iii) introduce and generalize decarbonized energy for residential and transportation sectors which represent the main driving sectors for CO2 emissions as they emit respectively 25% and 51% of Algiers total CO2 emissions. City-level carbon emissions inventory can help to introduce cities with developing economies, such as Algiers, into the global climate issues and suggest solid recommendations for shifting current urban models towards a more sustainable urban planning intricately linked to sustainable forest management.

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