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Understand the context: 1.5-degree lifestyles study

How can society better limit global warming to within the 1.5-degree limit? What role do our lifestyle choices play in this global challenge? This study is a key background material to the methodology of sustainable lifestyle quantification.


Emma Hietaniemi


The 1.5-degree lifestyles study proposes targets and options for how society can better limit global warming to within the 1.5-degree limit, the aspirational target of the Paris Agreement, from the perspective of lifestyles.

This international study was conducted in 2018. It calculated the carbon emissions of the average lifestyles of people in Finland and Japan, while comparing the results to China, Brazil and India’s average everyday consumption levels.

The study highlights the huge gaps between our current per capita footprints and the targets for low-carbon societies. Estimates of current annual average lifestyle carbon footprints of the populations of the countries it studied per person as of 2017 were: Finland: 10.4 (tCO2e); Japan: 7.6; China: 4.2; Brazil: 2.8; and India: 2.0.

The main findings include the targets for per-person carbon footprints of 2.5 (tCO2e) in 2030, 1.4 by 2040 and 0.7 by 2050. The 1.5-degree lifestyles study also lists the most effective measures for reducing carbon footprints.


  1. Gain an insight into how the lifestyle-derived carbon-emission reductions are linked to the Paris Agreement target of 1.5 degrees.
  2. Quantifying the potential of the household-level carbon-emission reductions can empower people to action.
  3. Localising this study will identify the focus points that need most effort in your area.


  • The derivatives of this study have been taken into consideration in governmental decision-making and when developing private-sector solutions.
  • With this study, the media has been able to link the household-level emissions to the IPCC special report.


Download the method as a pdf version: Understand the context: 1.5-degree lifestyles study (pdf)

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