As promised, here’s the Climate Action Ministry’s Report on how we did
in our last measurement of UUCB household carbon footprints. This
year, 17 households participated, and the results showed annual carbon
emissions ranging from 12.9 tons of CO2 emissions per year to 107 tons.
The overall average was 41 tons of CO2/household. (This was actually
an increase from when 31 households took the same survey in 2012.
The results that year were 35 tons CO2 emissions/ household/year.
It’s hard to compare the two years, however, because our participation
rates were so different.)
To get a sense of what our average means, the world average (per
capita) is about 6 tons/year and the U.S. average (per capita) is about
20 tons/year. Because our survey measured by household (rather than
per person), you’ll need to do your math to see how you compare!
What does this mean? In the big picture, if we are to prevent possibly
catastrophic climate change, scientists estimate that global emissions
per person must reach approximately 2 metric tons per year by 2050.
To reach that goal, national and international policies are urgently
needed to speed up our transition from a fossil fuel based world
economy to one based primarily on the use of renewable energy.
Putting a price on carbon is a critical next step in this process. That’s
why many of us in the Climate Action Ministry are working to make this
happen through Citizens’ Climate Lobby.
In the meantime, there are steps we can each take to reduce our
personal carbon footprints — and some may be surprisingly easy.
Please visit us at the Climate Action Ministry table where we have a
handout with ideas on how to reduce your carbon footprint.
Also, if you didn’t get a chance to calculate your carbon footprint, it’s not
too late. Go to http://coolclimate.berkeley.edu/carboncalculator. The
calculator breaks your energy usage down into travel, housing, food and
shopping — so that you know where to focus your efforts. The web site
also gives lots of ideas on how to improve.
Thanks to all who participated!