If the world is to keep climate change at manageable levels before the middle of the century, changes in lifestyles are not only inevitable, but would need to be radical, and start immediately. Considering current consumption levels, citizens in many developed countries would have to cut their lifestyle carbon footprints by about 80-90% or more, and some in developing countries by about 30-80% within the next 30 years. This is one of the key messages coming from the report “1.5-Degree Lifestyles: Targets and options for reducing lifestyle carbon footprints,” just launched by a group of experts from an international consortium of research and policy institutes.
The technical report was launched on 25 February at the World Resource Forum (WRF), Antwerp, Belgium, attracting a great deal of interest from participants and the media. Whereas most existing studies predominantly focus on production- and technology-based solutions, this report provides a unique analysis of the implications of the Paris Agreement from a lifestyle perspective. The publication establishes the first global per-capita lifestyle carbon footprint target for 2030 to 2050 with explicit linkage to the 1.5-degree target of the Paris Agreement. It proposes an indicator of “lifestyle carbon footprints,” a consumption-based greenhouse gas accounting used for establishing targets, examining the current status, and identifying solutions.
Research for the report was conducted by IGES, Aalto University, and D-mat and financially supported by the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra and the KR Foundation. A translated version of summary reports and related information are expected to be announced later in Finland and Japan.
Photo Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from USA