Facts About Ecological footprint
2013’s carbon dioxide emissions are set to hit 36 billion tonnes, scientists announced earlier this week – that’s a rise of around 2.1 per cent on last year’s levels. The assessment comes from academics at some of the world’s top climate research institutes
A big chunk of those emissions will have come from Europe. The region is pretty developed and has a long history of fossil fuel consumption. But it’s currently undertaking a number of wide-reaching energy policies which could see its carbon footprint reduce over the coming years – renewables targets, an emissions trading scheme, as well as national plans for decarbonisation.
To get an insight into Europe’s current emissions, we’ve played around with the Global Carbon Atlas – an online tool released alongside the new carbon dioxide predictions for 2013. It’s not real time data, but looking back to 2012 and 2011 gives a good idea of how the world’s emissions break down. Here are five interesting facts the Atlas reveals about Europe:
1. European countries are among the highest emitters in the world
For a collection of small countries, Europe packs a significant carbon punch. The region contained nine of the world’s top 25 emitters in 2012. Germany had the 6th highest emissions. The UK ranked 13th highest, closely followed by Italy in 16th and France 18th. Consumption of fossil fuels in these countries remains high.
2. Many european countries are responsible for more carbon emissions than they ‘produce’
Generally, governments measure territorial emissions – the amount of carbon dioxide produced inside the boundaries of a country by activities which consume fossil fuels. But there’s another way of looking at it – consumption emissions. That’s a measure of how much carbon is produced by the stuff a country actually uses – inside and outside its borders.
In 2011, the UK’s territorial emissions were around 450 megatonnes of carbon dioxide, but its consumption emissions were an estimated 632 megatonnes (one megatonne is equivalent to one million tonnes). The picture was the same for countries like Italy, France and Germany. Across Europe as a whole, consumption emissions were estimated to be about a billion tonnes higher than territorial emissions in 2011.
Grouped by region, Europe emerged as the third biggest polluter in 2012. It produced nearly 6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, in terms of territorial emissions. Asia, the highest overall emitter, produced 16 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide – nearly three times as much – while North America emitted just over 6 billion tonnes.
Smaller amounts of the greenhouse gas were emitted from the oil-rich Middle East (2 billion tonnes), South America (1 billion tonnes) and Africa (1 billion tonnes).
4. Your average American or Australian emits much more than a European
Averaged over the 740 million or so population, Europe’s carbon dioxide emissions in 2012 equalled out at around eight tonnes per person. That’s almost 40 per cent lower than the per capita emissions in North America (13 tonnes per person) and in the Australian-encompassing-region of Oceania (14 tonnes per person).
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How do you feel about your ecological footprint? | Yahoo Answers
I totally agree! Using less plastic, buying locally grown produce, and not eating meat would definitely help! Have an awesome day. :)