Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Emissions Goal

The City of Charleston continues to experience first-hand the very real impacts of climate change and the sense of urgency required in the response. That’s why, in 2017 Mayor Tecklenburg signed Climate Mayors coalition joining the ongoing commitment of US cities to accelerate climate progress.  

In doing so, Mayor Tecklenburg pledged to demonstrate leadership on climate change and uphold the spirit of the Paris climate agreement by pursuing actions to achieve an 80% reduction in emissions levels by 2050.  

The City of Charleston took this commitment to the next level in May 2021 with the adoption of a new Climate Action Plan that will put us on a path to achieve new emissions reduction goals of 56% by 2030 and net zero by 2050.

NEW!  Follow progress on emissions reduction activities on FloodStat!

Citywide and Municipal Annual GHG Emissions by Source

Two inventories help provide data to inform climate action planning.  

  1. Citywide Inventory: includes all of City limits
  2. Government Inventory: includes only City of Charleston operations, (which are also included in the Citywide Inventory)

City Buildings Lead by Example!

The City has prioritized energy efficiency and taken major steps to reduce emissions and energy use in City facilities.  Learn more!

Making sense of emissions infographic per Green Plan

FY 2018 Greenhouse Gas Inventories

Citywide 2018 GHG Emissions by Sector and Source
Municipal 2018 GHG Emissions by Sector and Source

Comparing Inventories Over Time

Citywide Annual GHG Emissions by Sector
Municipal Annual GHG Emissions by Sector
Citywide Annual GHG Emissions Per Capita

Emissions Units

For simplicity, all emissions were converted to the same units so greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation, natural gas combustion, vehicle emissions, etc. are all measured in metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (mt CO2e).  Using CO2 equivalents for all measurements allows us to easily measure the impact of unrelated activities, such as a comparison of greenhouse gas reductions achieved from increasing fuel efficiency versus composting.  

  • mt CO2e      = metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent
  • mmt CO2e  = million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent

Learn more about the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of different greenhouse gases.