Carbon footprint is defined as the total emissions caused by an individual, organisation or product. Carbon footprint originates from ecological footprint which was developed by William E .Rees and Mathis Wackernagle in the 1990’s. It compared how much people demand compared to what our planet can renew. Equating then the number of earths that would be required if everyone on the planet contented at the same rate. The carbon footprint is one part of the ecological footprint, and was popularised by a large BP campaign in 2005.
This was one of the first campaigns that highlighted to the public that the need to be aware our own carbon footprint, so that we can all take responsibility for the world ecosystem. Even though this has been highlighted more and more over the years, I feel that by having a labelling system in place on product packaging it could bring again the carbon footprint to the forefront and encourage consumers to be more aware of the products that they are buying.
You can check your own carbon footprint on the WWF website above. The results for my own carbon footprint shown below.
My overall carbon footprint was 112%. This is slightly over the current footprint for the uk overall. If everyone made a concerted effort to reduce their own footprint we would be able to hit all our targets for the Climate change Act for the UK. The Climate Change Act 2008 set the country’s emission reduction targets. The “legally binding” targets are a reduction of least 80% by 2050 (against the 1990 baseline).
UK emissions were 43% below 1990 levels in 2017. The first carbon budget (2008-12) has been met and the UK is currently on track to outperform the second (2013-17) and third (2018-22) carbon budgets, but is not on track to meet the fourth, which covers the period 2023-27.
Meeting future carbon budgets and the UK’s 2050 target to reduce emissions by at least 80% of 1990 levels will require reducing domestic emissions by at least 3% per year. This will require existing progress to be supplemented by more challenging measures. By encouraging the public to have more care when buying products and services over the next ten years we could all make a impact. Hence having clear labelling on packaging and products could make all the difference in the years to come.