Municipal Efforts to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Evidence from U.S. Cities on the U.S.-Mexico Border

Sylvia Gonzalez-Gorman, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Sung-Wook Kwon, Texas Tech University
Dennis Patterson, Texas Tech University

© The Authors. Original published version available at


In this study, we examine municipal efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by focusing on emissions from vehicular sources. We compare what different cities have done to address the problem of GHG emissions from vehicles by using atmospheric data to assess the impact policy efforts have had on actual GHGs. We focus on an area overlooked in the literature, U.S. cities on the U.S.-Mexico transborder region. Using GHG vehicular emissions data from the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) and an ordinary least square model, this research foundcities have reduced levels of GHGs, especially when municipal efforts are supported by state policies to reduce GHG emissions. While GHG in general are transboundary and a global issue by nature, communities in the U.S. border region are directly impacted by vehicular emissions due to cross-border trade that is not prevalent in interior communities. However, one of the main limitations in this type of study is the lack of reportable environmental data for less populated cities on the U.S.-Mexico border. Future studies need to develop alternative approaches to sustainability that could provide a more nuanced examination of some of the challenges or success in the U.S. transborder region.