The term ‘carbon footprint’ has become tremendously popular over the last few years and is now in widespread use across the media. With climate change high up on the political and corporate agenda, carbon footprint calculations are in strong demand. Numerous approaches have been proposed to provide estimates, ranging from basic online calculators to sophisticated life-cycle analysis or input-output-based methods and tools. Despite its ubiquitous use however, there is an apparent lack of academic definitions of what exactly a ‘carbon footprint’ is meant to be. The scientific literature is surprisingly void of clarifications, despite the fact that countless studies in energy and ecological economics that could have claimed to measure a
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On the global level, 72% of greenhouse gas emissions are related to household consumption, 10% to government consumption, and 18% to investments. Food accounts for 20% of GHG emissions, operation and maintenance of residences is 19%, and mobility is 17%. Food and services are more important in developing countries, while mobility and manufactured goods rise fast with income and dominate in rich countries. The importance of public services and manufactured goods has not yet been sufficiently appreciated in policy. Policy priorities hence depend on development status and country-level characteristics.
>>Your carbon footprint measures the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted as a result of your daily activities. When you drive to work, run the appliances in your home or sneak off for a weekend getaway, you cause the burning of fossil fuels, which provide the energy needed to power your lifestyle. The U.S. came in second to China in generating the most carbon dioxide emissions in the world in 2008 (see References 5), with each U.S. citizen responsible for more than 20 tons of heat-trapping atmospheric emissions annually, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (see References 1). Greener living can reduce this super-sized carbon footprint.
>>Food and Diet
To appreciate the carbon footprint of food, compare the fuel