First let us distinguish between developed and developing countries The importance of this is to emphasise who the biggest emitters are and where the biggest potential for reduction is Figure 1 Oxfam 2015 Lund 2017 Percentage of CO2 emissions by world population The figure above is illustrating that the poorest 50 of the world's population are responsible for 10 of consumption emission while the richest 10 of the population are responsible for 49 of consumption emissions This fact highlights that it is of great importance to focus on how individuals in developed countries can reduce their individual consumption emissions Moreover the poorest people have greater barriers to reduce the already relative low emission because of very different living conditions where it is often a struggle to get a meal on the table every day and the choice of eating vegan or not or taking the car or the bike is not an opportunity Another reason why it is most important to teach the richest people to cut down emissions is that the group of people that are expected to go from the status as developing to developed countries in the future are more likely to follow in the richest footsteps
Climate change is getting more and more exposed in the media as the effects of it can be felt in form of heat waves droughts sea level rise ocean acidification and threatened ecosystems human health and infrastructure etc kilde There is also more focus in media and teaching material textbooks on what we can do about it as consumers such as recycling and switching light bulbs with low energy lightbulbs Wynes and Nicholas 2017 Nowadays people in developed countries have a better knowledge about what is good and bad for the climate but the knowledge is poor when it comes to exactly how much their action will affect the climate and what the most effective mitigation action is Wynes and Nicholas 2017 Wynes and Nicholas 2017 conducted a research that concludes that the highest potentials for mitigating by individuals in developed countries are as follows having one fewer child can reduce the yearly emissions by 58 6 tonnes CO2 equivalent tCO2e living car free corresponds to yearly saved emissions of 2 4 tCO2e and avoiding airplane travels can reduce emissions by 1 6 tCO2e per roundtrip transatlantic flight Other measures from the same research can be seen on the table below Figure 2 Wynes Nicholas 2017 Institute of Physics 2017 Personal choices to reduce your contribution to climate change Having the right knowledge about how individuals can mitigate is crucial for promoting behavioural changes and it is especially important to inform indulgence because they are still able to be influenced compared to an old person with ingrown habits Wynes and Nicholas 2017
However there are constraints in changing individual habits even with the knowledge of the adverse effects of climate change Some might be more difficult than others Changing light bulbs and recycling might not be the most effective mitigations measures but are some of the easiest efforts to mitigate on the individual level A survey in the U S by Ipsos Public Affairs in 2011 showed that only 50 of adults recycle and the reasons for not recycling were following Figure 3 Schumaker 2016 Why people don't recycle This survey concluded that it needs to be super easy for individuals to change their habits Schumanker 2016 Changing to a meat free diet on the contrary is not only constraint by laziness and the need for planning but there are also cultural and social values involved Christmas and other family gatherings are often associated with eating meat and it can be difficult for one individual to go against the traditions because it can seem impolite and create divide The individual s value needs to stay very strong Sometimes it can seem like the individual choice doesn't matter when nobody else is changing habits The Danish Council on Ethics 2016 We are human beings with needs not robots We can feel tempted stressed etc which makes us take wrong choices in the climate sense The ethical question about future generation is also relevant in this context We know that we will die anyway then what is more important to us as individuals to have the best life we can have enjoying the luxury of eating and travelling or to try to do the ethical correct for future generations A survey was made for climate change students at the University of Copenhagen by Lund 2018 This test concluded that if knowledgeable young people are not able to make behavioural changes for the climate then how can we trust that individuals can make a change at all Lund 2018 Whether people are going to have less children because of the stress it puts on the climate is still unknown but very unlikely taken into account that people are not changing habits in other possible easier ways
CALCULATE YOUR ORDER
Save on your first order!