A major reduction in air travel is a key starting point for cutting emissions. Image: Kirstin Andrus via Flickr
Top UK climate scientist says global carbon emissions could be cut by a third within a year if well-off westerners changed their lifestyle.
LONDON, 21 January, 2017 – Global carbon emissions could be cut by one-third within 12 months if affluent westerners changed their way of life, claims a leading climate change scientist. Kevin Anderson, professor of energy and climate change at Manchester University, in the UK, says a major reduction in personal air travel is a key starting point.More than half of the carbon dioxide pollution that causes a large part of global warming comes from the 10% best-off people on the planet, he argues.
Carbon footprint “Let’s be clear about this. If the top 10 high emitters – people like you and me and others – if we reduce our carbon footprint just to the level of the average European, it would be a one-third cut in global emissions.“I genuinely think we could achieve it in one year, but we would have to think that climate change is a very serious issue, and that has big political implications.”
Those of us who are high emitters …. need to rapidly curtail how often we fly. We should not be flying on any occasion business class or first class because that has far higher emissions. We need to find alternatives to flying. “But in addition we need to make sure that we are not living in larger houses and have many houses, and drive larger cars.