Ecology, Climate Change and Related News

Conservation Science for a Healthy Planet

Incremental steps by individuals offer opportunity to reduce GHGs to prevent 2°C of climate warming

Leave a Comment

Most effective individual steps to tackle climate change aren’t being discussed

Posted: 11 Jul 2017 06:58 PM PDT

Governments and schools are not communicating the most effective ways for individuals to reduce their carbon footprints, according to new research. The study found that the incremental changes advocated by governments may represent a missed opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions beneath the levels needed to prevent 2°C of climate warming. The four actions that most substantially decrease an individual’s carbon footprint are: eating a plant-based diet [Ed. note: avoiding industrial agriculture meat no regeneratively grown], avoiding air travel, living car-free, and having smaller families.

The research analysed 39 peer reviewed papers, carbon calculators, and government reports to calculate the potential of a range of individual lifestyle choices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This comprehensive analysis identifies the actions individuals could take that will have the greatest impact on reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.

Lead author Seth Wynes said: “There are so many factors that affect the climate impact of personal choices….. Those of us who want to step forward on climate need to know how our actions can have the greatest possible impact. This research is about helping people make more informed choices.

Seth Wynes, Kimberly A Nicholas. The climate mitigation gap: education and government recommendations miss the most effective individual actions. Environmental Research Letters, 2017; 12 (7): 074024 DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/aa7541

View all articles

Comments are closed