Carbon footprint from mobility needs to decrease by at least 72 per cent by 2030 in developed countries. Photo: / Mikael Colville-Andersen CC BY-NC-ND

1.5-degree lifestyles

A new report “1.5-Degree Lifestyles” evaluates the implications of the Paris Agreement from a lifestyle perspective. It analyses scientific emission scenarios and case studies from Finland, Japan, China, Brazil and India, and proposes long-term targets for individuals’ lifestyle carbon footprints by 2030–2050, as well as low-carbon options that citizens and society can adopt.

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. The largest changes will need to happen in the developed countries within the next decade. The range of footprint reductions required in this region for 2030 are at least 47% in food, 68% in housing, and 72% in mobility.

Michael Lettenmeier, one of the authors of the report from Aalto University, commented that “while doing this research we were surprised to note what a small role lifestyles had played in most existing scenarios on greenhouse gas emissions. Lifestyles can and must contribute to climate change mitigation, but not only households must act. Governments and businesses have to facilitate lifestyle changes by providing infrastructure, products and services that enable households to live more sustainably. These changes have to be initiated now because lifestyle carbon footprints have to drop far below half in the course of one decade in order to keep global warming within 1.5 degree.”

“1.5-Degree Lifestyles: Targets and Options for Reducing Lifestyle Carbon Footprints” by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Aalto University, and D-mat ltd.


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