Apr 10, 2024 - News

How Tampa Bay's greenhouse gases add up

Illustration of a bus with both thumbs up and thumbs down in the destination ticker.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

There are now multiple ways we can see exactly how transportation in Tampa Bay contributes to climate change.

Why it matters: Transportation is the biggest driver of greenhouse gas emissions nationwide.

Driving the news: The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council recently took the area's first inventory of greenhouse gases, estimating 31.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent were produced by Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties in 2021, per the Tampa Bay Times.

  • That's less than half of what the Miami area produces and less than the greater Orlando area — but it's about double what all of Delaware produces.

Yes, and: In the recent Transportation Climate Impact Index, Tampa Bay's metros stacked up fairly well against other major areas in the nation.

Zoom in: The North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton area was 22nd overall, scoring high for biking activity.

  • Tampa-St. Pete-Clearwater came in 27th, driven by a high fuel economy rating.
  • Lakeland-Winter Haven was 64th, ranking among the worst for transit ridership and truck miles traveled.

Context: The index, created by intelligence firm StreetLight Data, ranks cities on transportation-related emissions factors, including overall vehicle miles traveled, vehicle fuel efficiency, transit ridership, and electric vehicle adoption.

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