MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota is known as ‘The Land of 10,000 Lakes’ and we have an overabundance of green spaces and bike paths too, but a new study finds that Minneapolis is one of the most polluting cities in the world.

The International Institute for Environment and Development looked at more than 100 cities in 33 countries.

It found most have low emissions of carbon dioxide, but amongst the highest emitters were Denver, Sydney, Washington DC and Minneapolis.

The group says in Minneapolis, 17 tons of carbon dioxide is emitted per person each year. That’s more than double places like New York City.

So why is a city that considers itself so earth-friendly one of the big carbon dioxide polluters?

The study says that one reason is there’s not as many people here and public transportation isn’t as popular.

Comments (69)
  1. gtV says:

    The MTC and the naysayers should take note of this news item. It’s about time we practice what we preach! Mass transit is green and helps the environment. Now if only the MTC and all revamp their thinking about public transportation and make the TC’s a model of transit excellence. So when was the last time you took public transportation?

    1. Pat says:

      Okay gtv, I live 6 miles from work and it takes me 15 minutes driving. If I want to talk a bus I need to go downtowm Mpls., and transfer just to go south again and it would take over an hopur in buses. You know what transportation I will take.
      Sometimes peopel just cannot use a bus to get to work period. I do take the light rail to go downtown for an event such as the Twins games.

      1. Josh says:

        …and you have no control over where you live

      2. Foghorn says:

        Do you have 1 leg or live in a wheelchair? It’s only 6 miles. WALK!!

    2. gtV says:

      Sorry, JTV, that you have not lived in a comparable city with a great 24/7 transit system. I have. Too bad you live in a city where you think crime would follow the transit system. It’s a shame that the Twin Cities is still in the Stone Age of thinking when it comes to mass transit. Maybe, we should go back to walking and/or horse and buggy? It’s time for the TC’s to progress in the 21st Century for mass transit!

    3. Doing My Part says:

      I often get ridiculed for “wasting” up to 2 hours each day by taking public transit (bus and light rail) yet I wouldn’t trade places with the logjam of single occupancy SUVs I see on the highways. I get to close my eyes, relax, read a book or chat with many of the other riders.

    4. Hookah says:

      horse and buggy eh gTV? That would cut the emissions and slow down the crime rate…the police chase alone would be worth watching! Go hug a tree gTV!

    5. Check Yourself says:

      The subtext of your comment reads; “I”m selfish, I’m entitled, I’m self-important, I’m xenophobic, and I don’t care about my fellow human beings and I”M PROUD OF THESE FACTS!!”

  2. ttt says:

    who cares means money is being made stop waste of taxs $$ with light rail etc

    1. Heather says:

      When the world is ruined for your kids and their kids, you’ll feel bad about not caring.

      1. Pat says:

        Nom I won’t. I will be dead by then and I won’t care.

      2. Lingenfeldert says:

        Perhaps our ancestors should feel bad for inventing and utilizing the internal combustion engine.

  3. dgattor says:

    Stop breathing Minneapolis.

  4. albert says:

    Numnuts living 40 miles from their jobs, driving 4WDs and idling in the winter, I’d guess.

  5. nelson says:

    Two words: B.S.
    100 cities, 33 countries?! How arbitrary is that? If the researchers knew science, they’d know not to publicly publish their findings without conducting research on more than just these cities.

    1. PeteJ says:

      Here’s the full study from the International Institute for Environment and Development.

  6. Rachel says:

    Can something be done about it? This is not only bad for the next generations, but for this one, too!

    1. Pat says:

      Rachel, do you let ypur car warm up in the winter before leaving to or from anywhere? That is the cause of most pollutants in winter. If people stop this practice it would help immensely.
      I start my car, put it in gear and drive slow the first mile to get it warm. Saves wear and tear on the engine and drivetrain too.

      1. Reagan says:

        I’ll run you off the road, damn slow drivers

    2. Chris says:

      This story is so lame as it does not explain what the meter is…
      It says that ours is higher beciase we have fewer people, so is it a per capita calculation?
      Also, who was the author of this story for WCCO? I do not see a credit line…
      It does not reference the AP either, as it is probably the source, but shame on WCCO.
      I therefore will assume that this whole deal is bogus!

    3. I don't Care says:

      Hey Earth Girl Rachel…….We all know that polluting is bad… However, as technology advances and gets CHEAPER then we will all have your ideal carbon footprint…. Until then stick a sock in it and stop finding ways to cost me more money because you have a worthless cause….

      1. Jon says:

        Not polluting the Earth is a worthless cause?

  7. Mr. Define says:

    Define pollution Mrl. and Ms. Scientists.

    Arsenic, lead? Or just carbon dioxide. This place is much cleaner than most cities in India.

  8. TW says:

    Could it also be that cold air inversions during the winter skew the sampling? Would anyone really equate Mpls/St. Paul with polluted cities like LA, Beijing, Calcutta or Mexico City? Probably not when other pollutants are included as criteria. There may be high CO2 samples here in the metro but look at the skyline and tell me if the air looks dirty. Particulates and ozone are probably quite low. Live in a city where you can see a brown sky and live here. Huge difference. This story is a big deal about little from the International Institute of Environmental Guilt and Spending Boondoggle.

  9. Ben Dover says:

    Who gives a rats ass , this just in folks none of us are making it out alive.

  10. I HATE YOUR TRUCK says:

    My MORON neighbors wake me up EVERY day with thier huge stupid trucks and let them run for over 30 minutes. I don’t get it! Not only is it loud and obnoxious (not to mention costing me precious sleep)- but probably getting in through my vents b/c I can smell it 3 doors down. I’m not concered about my efficient car, it’s the old bombs like thiers rattling around. Why would you want to let expensive gas just vaporize into the air like that!? IDIOTS!

    1. JB says:

      could it be that your house is so inefficient that you are wasting more gas heating a sieve like yours that your neighbors running their truclks all day long? If I could hear my neighbors trucks three doors down, I would either rip my house down and build something more efficient, or start upgrading windows, doors, ….

  11. Reagan says:

    34,000 LBS. Per person??? How is this Carbon Dioxide weighed? Sorry I can just not buy it that this is accurate. Can someone seriously explain?

  12. Annette says:

    I only live 10 miles from my job so I bus, run, or bike to work depending on the weather. I leave my 20 year old car at home and only drive it once a week at most. I think I am doing my part for the environment. Oh yes, I am 59 years old not a teenager either and I stay in shape as well.

  13. GW says:

    This is the kink of media perputrated agenda that propels the GORE’s of the world. You environmentalist cool-aid drinkers should wake up and see how we ALL are being taken to the cleaners by this propaganda ! But, you no doubt have swallowed ALL of the socialist control schemes – hook line and sinker!
    Maybe we generate more CO2 because we have to generate HEAT – it is cold here ! Sorry, solar panels are not going to get the job done guys ! Let’s concentrate on some things that matter…….Your want to ride your bike and plug in an electric car – knock yourself out !
    Anyone out there realize that the earth has been both WARMER and COLDER than it is now? Think it may have something to do with solar cycles? – Let’s pull our collective heads out while we still have anything resembling an economy. and SHAME on all media outlets that publish such absolute boulderdash with no references on the study !

  14. Better bet says:

    shallow minds like yours GW are why we sitting just a hair above China and Asia. Just below that is Central America. Do you really welcome being a 3rd world country in future? Maybe ya do

  15. Jon says:

    You should read the article again (or for the first time). Michelle Bachmann’s name is not mentioned.

  16. James says:

    If Minneapolis is among the world’s worst in air polution, we can all agree that this idea of cleaning the air can be put behind us and stop throwing away good money after bad. Really, how clean is clean? To what end? I love minnesota and I love breathing the “smog” of Minneapolis, its just fine to me. Everyone can stop being so negative now. Thanks, buh bye.

  17. merks says:

    This study has lost all credibility for funding is provided by the UN and the Ford foundation which is a front for George soros, the mastermind of destroying countries economies and wanting of a one world order run by progressives.

    1. Morons.. says:

      Who invited Glenn Beck to the party?

  18. Victim Du Jour says:

    Environmentalists are so fake in Minnesota, they use all the modern amenities and just blame it on greedy energy companies.

  19. Raina says:

    My daughter is living proof this area is MUCH healthier than the east coast- MD particularly. She is 7 and has severe asthma. We moved here Nov 09 and she has improved drastically. I love driving to the city and actually SEEING the skyline- walking in MPLS or ST Paul and it is actually clean- Maybe all the trees clean the air? I don’t know how it works but I can say my daughter who had an extremely hard time breathing in MD can enjoy the outdoors- that’s really all I need to know to convince me that this is a very healthy place

  20. Stephen says:

    I’m saying it again – and it doesn’t have to mention her name, pinhead – that Michele Bachmann, as an outspoken critic of global warming, a congresswoman from MN, and a potential presidential contender in 2012, is possibly being targeted here. This ‘study’ lacks all basis in truth, and you don’t need to be a rocket scientisit to see that.

    1. Spell your name like an American says:

      No Ones targeting Bachmann cause no one would ever take her as a serious contender for president. Chick cant even find the camera to look in …

  21. mark from mntaxwaste.com says:

    I don’t get why WCCO would not follow up on this group The International Institute for Environment and Development is a Global Warming, Sky is falling Liberal group based in London that want to push their agenda onto America. This group also were part of the fake emails about global warming. Poor reporting WCCO, you need to step up. Whats that new Manager doing? Step Up.

  22. Schae says:

    It’s NOBODY’S business WHAT I drive. If you don’t like what other people drive, then shut it. You don’t have to put up with it.

  23. mj_12 says:

    Minnesota’s ignorant self-righteous attitude never ceases to amaze me. Do you really need anything more than the $6Billion deficit that the state is in to tell you that you are all either very stupid or are very indifferent.

  24. reality says:

    The great thing about public transportation is its affordable for everyone, the bad thing about public transportation is its affordable for everyone… who wanta to ride with a bunch of poor people?

  25. Linda says:

    We have a train that hardly anyone uses due to the time schedule during the week the there are no trains running between 8AM and 5PM what a waste this turned out to be as could really help with this problem if they ran every hour.

  26. Realist says:

    PLEASE! I visited Minnesota in Dec 2006 and the air was FAR from polluted to my lungs – and easily among the cleanest out of the US cities I’ve been to (I’ve been to around 15 states already)! I guess it helps that I live in Asia…..

  27. hot stuff says:

    I Disagree with u GW!

  28. hot stuff says:

    I give a greeting to Old Nurse as I die

  29. hot stuff says:


  30. Old Nurse says:

    What do you mean?

  31. hotstuff says:

    OMG there really is an old nurse

  32. hotstuff says:


  33. hotstuff says:

    Hi dude waz up?

  34. Tammer says:

    Hi what to go hang out

  35. hotstuff says:

    Whats going on Tammer?

  36. Tammer says:

    Do u peeps know where Guses is?

  37. hotstuff says:

    You a little creepy

  38. Tammer says:

    I thought we could hang out after school i go to barton

  39. Tammer says:

    Hi hotstuff
    you didn’t show up at Guse today so I thought that maybe you didn’t know my name its…
    I go to Barton do you?

  40. hotstuff says:

    no i go to Ramsey!!!!!!:)