Energy efficiency

There are areas where we can reduce our carbon footprint.

The largest contributor to our carbon footprint is energy. This amounts to 62% of the total. If we limit this to electricity and heat for household purposes only (non-industrial), this is about 25% of the total.

The carbon footprint for transportation is 13.5% of the total emissions.

These percentages show the potentially significant impact of making energy efficient choices in our household and transport. Simple lifestyle choices can reduce a person’s carbon footprint drastically.

1 — Renewable sources of energy

The carbon footprint of a household is reduced to a fraction by fitting renewable sources of energy. Solar panels and wind turbines are excellent choices. Some devices over-produce energy and are connected to the national grid to provide energy for others. The device manufacture can have a high carbon footprint and it is worth comparing to choose the right option. Cost and planning permissions can be hurdles but it is certainly the way of the future.

2 — Electric cars

If one has to drive a car at all, it should be an electric car. The carbon footprint of electric cars is a fraction of a combustion equivalent. There is no valid reason why all other cars should not have been phased out and the motor industry hasn’t devoted itself 100% to the production of electric cars. Limited choice is an issue at present but it is a quickly evolving and promising sector.

3 — Public transport

The use of public transport minimises our carbon footprint. For short distances cycling is a good choice. Within public transport, rail and tube (underground/subway/metro) are the best choices. Coaches and buses add to congestion and have a relatively high carbon footprint. Clean combustion technology is being introduced in modern buses but rail remains the transport with the lowest carbon footprint.

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Dismay at EU inaction to resuscitate the carbon markets

In the past year the price of carbon credits has tumbled to unprecedented low levels, making it uneconomical for project originators to fund new clean energy projects, given particularly in small-scale projects the cost of verification and issuance of carbon credits can exceed the sale price.

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