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Carbon footprint calculators for citizens

Recommendations and implications in the Nordic Context

image of Carbon footprint calculators for citizens

In this report, we look into Nordic carbon footprint calculators and selected benchmarks from other countries. We present data on 10 carbon footprint calculators for public use. The focus is on the features, recorded number of users, and experiences on using the calculators in campaigns and research projects. The purpose is to highlight good practices in the design and use of calculators for ordinary citizens which can be used to introduce the role of consumption choices in climate change mitigation. The report provides suggestions for the future development of existing or new calculator initiatives. The study was carried out by the Finnish Environment Institute, financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers, administrated by the Sustainable Consumption and Production Working Group and guided by a steering group consisting of representatives from Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

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Summary

Hertwich and Peters (2009) state that 72% of the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are related to household consumption. The potential of mitigating climate change by changing consumption patterns with already existing solutions is modelled by Girod and colleagues (2014). The modelling results show how changes in consumption would enable the 2 °C climate target to be reached by 2050. The urgency of climate change calls for action to make our consumption carbon footprint (i.e. GHG emissions from housing, travel, food, consumption of other goods and services) smaller.

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