Targets and options for reducing lifestyle carbon footprints – A summary
This summary report is intended to serve as a fact base for discussions on 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 is a summary version of a comprehensive technical report 1.5-degree lifestyles: Targets and options for reducing lifestyle carbon footprints (IGES et al. 2019). This summary is intended to serve as a starting point for policymakers, academics, corporate leaders and the general public when setting concrete targets and discussing how to best achieve required changes in our everyday lives. A prototype of an interactive tool for households has been added to this summary (see Appendix). The tool “1.5-degree lifestyles puzzle” intends to make the results and implications of the project approachable and understandable to both households and other stakeholders in order to foster discussion and actions around the required changes.
Changes in our consumption patterns and dominant lifestyles are a critical and integral part of how we can address the challenges of climate change. However, so far, limited efforts have been made in the scientific literature and policy approaches to show the potential contribution that changes in lifestyles could have in keeping global warming within the limit of 1.5 °C, the aspirational target of the Paris Agreement. The study conducted for this report is an attempt to fill that gap, and to begin to propose clear targets and the quantifiable benefits of climate change solutions from lifestyle changes. The results of the analysis are eye-opening, showing the need for reductions of over 90% in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 from today’s lifestyles. The report also offers solutions and creates hope by showing what kinds of changes are needed on an individual and household level. The time to act is now.