The importance of goods and services consumption in household greenhouse gas calculators.

by M Lenzen
Ambio ()

Abstract

Despite the fact that lifestyles, in particular goods and services consumption, play a key role for global inequity and unsustainability of greenhouse gas emissions, these issues are often inadequately addressed in information and education materials such as household greenhouse gas calculators. Often, only limited individual responsibility for climate change can be concluded, and this is restricted to the reader's immediate surroundings such as the household and the private car, while goods and services consumption are almost always ignored. As a consequence, recommendations for reducing personal emissions concentrate on the relatively minor aspect of electricity and fuel use, while missing the more important issue of reducing goods and services consumption as an efficient way to abate climate change. These shortcomings are illustrated using the example of a recently published household greenhouse gas emissions questionnaire. An example for a comprehensive greenhouse gas calculator is also presented.

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