Lifestyle Carbon Footprints

Lifestyle Carbon Footprints

Do you ever wonder what it would take for everyone to live in such a way that we could stop global warming?

Photo Credit: Jennie Moore

The Paris Agreement (UNFCC 2018) set an aspirational climate stabilization goal at 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. A new report is open for public consultation that explores what this means for household consumption and related lifestyle impacts.

Lifestyle Carbon Footprints: Exploration of Long-term Targets and Case Studies of Carbon Footprints from Household Consumption (Draft for Consultation)” is now open for public consultation until the end of October 2018.

The suggested target for individuals reaches 0.9 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per person per year by 2050. This is far below the annual emissions of an average Finnish (10.4 tCO2e) or Japanese (7.6 tCO2e) person. Case studies in the report address household consumption and lifestyle impacts for average persons in: Finland, Japan, China, India and Brazil. In-depth analysis focusses on Finland and Japan. The report identifies various actions necessary for households, businesses and governments to achieve climate stabilization goals at the 2 degree and 1.5 degree levels. This aligns with what scientists believe are the thresholds for climate stabilization. If global average temperatures reach above 2 degrees Celsius we cross a tipping point that triggers “grave damage to ecosystems” (IPCC 2004), risking transformation to an uninhabitable world.

Photo Credit: Jennie Moore

The Ecocity Framework & Standards for “Clean Air” and “Earth’s Carrying Capacity” connect with standards for “Responsible Materials,” “Clean and Renewable Energy,” “Access to Nutritious Food,” “Healthy Culture,” “Community Capacity/Governance,” and “Healthy and Equitable Economy” in support of these findings.

We have recently updated the Ecocity Framework & Standards website, so if you have not visited lately, please take-a-peek and let us know what you think.

We will explore the topic of “sustainable lifestyles and behaviours” at the upcoming Ecocity World Summit 2019 in relation to our conference theme and sub-themes addressing “Socially Just and Ecologically Sustainable Cities,” “Climate Action,” “Circular Economy,” and “Informal Solutions for Sustainable Development.”


References:
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). 2018. The Paris Agreement. Online
resource: https://unfccc.int/process/the-paris-agreement/what-is-the-paris-agreement (Accessed
September 28, 2018).
International Panel on Climate Change. 2007. Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007:
Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change. Online resource:
https://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg3/en/ch1s1-2-2.html (Accessed September 28,
2018).

Jennie Moore
Jennie Moore
Jennie_Moore@bcit.ca

Dr. Jennie Moore is Director, Institute Sustainability at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Dr. Moore has extensive experience in the realm of ecological sustainability and urban systems including climate change and energy management, green buildings and eco-industrial networking. Prior to joining BCIT she worked for over a decade at Metro Vancouver as Manager of Strategic Initiatives. Her research explores the potential for Vancouver to achieve one-planet living. Jennie is a senior associate of the One Earth Initiative and a core advisor to the Ecocity Framework and Standards.

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