A new research by the Hot and Cool Institute has found that all the countries analyzed in the G20 group have exceeded the associated carbon footprint of life for 2050 and are in need of rapid and radical reductions. Focusing solely on individual behavioral changes will not be enough to achieve these reductions, so the report examines policies that governments can implement to pave the way for a greener lifestyle.
The latest edition of the Institute’s 1.5-degree Lifestyles Report analyzes lifestyle carbon footprints from nine G20 countries around the world—Canada, UK, Japan, China, Turkey, South Africa, Brazil, India and Indonesia, as well as Finland—and It identifies where changes can be made to meet the 1.5℃ climate target of the Paris Agreement.
By analyzing lifestyle habits across six sectors—food, housing, personal transportation, goods, leisure and services—the report presents the current per capita lifestyle carbon footprint for each country, and the 1.5℃-reduced lifestyle footprints corresponding to the world. provides options.
To meet the ambitious Paris target of 2050, high-income countries need to reduce their lifestyle footprints by more than 90% (91–95%), with upper-middle income countries reducing their footprints by 68–86%. , and lower-middle income countries like India need to reduce their footprint by 76%.
The study also highlights the huge disparities and differences in lifestyle-related greenhouse gas emissions among the world’s major economies. In Canada, the country with the highest per capita emissions of the economies studied, the lifestyle footprint of an average person is six times larger than a person in Indonesia.
Going beyond individual behavior change, the report looks at how a lack of enabling policies can prevent people from making 1.5-aligned lifestyle choices. From offering specific advice on how countries can change their public transport and housing infrastructure, to banning high carbon intensive consumerism such as the use of mega yachts (powered boats equipped for cruise/sea-tourism), This report outlines policies and market interventions that can be implemented to curb lifestyle carbon footprints domestically and internationally.
The report’s lead author, Dr. Lewis Akenzie, says, “Talking about lifestyle change is a vexing issue for policymakers who are afraid of risking the consumption or lifestyle of voters. The report offers a science-based approach. And it shows that without addressing lifestyle we will not be able to tackle climate change.”
“The solutions advocated in this report acknowledge that behavior change without a complete shift from our pro-growth political, financial and economic models to a more holistic welfare economy can only do that,” says Club of Rome co-president Sandrine Dixon-Declave. Few can do this. This report is an essential companion for policymakers working at the intersection of society and climate change.”
Dr. Kazuhiko Takeuchi, President of the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), a Japan-based think tank, says, “This report highlights the importance that countries such as Japan, which have made net-zero commitments, need to demonstrate Why is that how lifestyle changes can contribute to this goal, and also how the goal will shape society in the future. To drive lifestyle change, further collaboration between stakeholders, citizens, and the business and public sectors is critical to meeting the Net-Zero commitments.”