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Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Santa Fe

The Environmental Services Division analyzed greenhouse gas emissions from all sources within city limits in accordance with the standards of measurement adopted by the Compact of Mayors, a global coalition of cities committed to addressing climate change, which the City of Santa Fe joined in 2015. This protocol is called the Global Protocol for Community Scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions. The analysis includes electricity, natural gas, and all emissions from sources within city limits such as vehicle and wastewater treatment emissions. It does not include indirect emissions such as those embodied in products consumed by the citizens of Santa Fe.

All greenhouse gases are included and reported as a carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) because carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most prevalent greenhouse gas. This means other greenhouse gases are converted to CO2 equivalent. Local transportation and grid electricity factors were used in the calculations. The analysis will be updated every five years to monitor progress towards achieving the City’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2040.

The amount of greenhouse gas emissions per person is very low in Santa Fe partially because there is little manufacturing, industry, or agriculture in Santa Fe. As you can see below, the annual per capita emissions is ten tons of CO2e, compared to 31 tons per person in New Mexico and 18 tons per person in the United States.

The largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Santa Fe in on-road transportation, comprising 41% of total emissions. The second largest source is electricity, accounting for 34% of total greenhouse gas emissions in Santa Fe. Other sources such as solid waste management, rail travel, and wastewater treatment are too negligible to appear on the chart, below, collectively comprising less than 1%.

From 2015 to 2017, the total greenhouse gas emissions declined by 2% predominately due to a 12% reduction in vehicle miles traveled and a 5% reduction in commercial electricity demand. The amount of CO2 per unit of grid electricity increased from 2015 to 2017, so the decrease cannot be attributed to an increase of renewable energy in the electricity supply. Emissions from the electric grid will gradually move towards zero over the next twenty years as the electric utility complied with the New Mexico Energy Transition Act, which directed utilities to produce 100% carbon-free energy by 2045.

The following data were included in the greenhouse gas inventory:

  • Kilowatt hours of electricity provided by PNM
  • Therms of natural gas provided by New Mexico Gas Company
  • Vehicle miles traveled provided by the Federal Highway Administration
  • Percentage of vehicle classes registered in Santa Fe provided by the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division
  • Gallons of aviation gasoline used within city limits provided by the Santa Fe Airport
  • Gallons of diesel used by the New Mexico Rail Runner within city limits provided by the Mid-Region Council of Governments
  • Tons of biosolids and green waste composted provided by the City of Santa Fe Wastewater Division
  • SCF/day of gas produced by wastewater digester provided by the City of Santa Fe Wastewater Division
  • Percent of methane in gas produced by wastewater digester provided by the City of Santa Fe Wastewater Division





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