The European Green Deal sets the ambitious target of making the EU the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. This would entail a significant reduction of the European carbon footprint from the current average of 8.6 tCO2e to 0.7 tCO2e by 2050. Research has identified high potential in reducing consumption-related emissions for the three ‘hotspot’ sectors of food, housing and mobility. Scientific evidence could not be clearer in showing that deep changes are necessary to reach these targets, including a change in lifestyles and infrastructures. In this context, policies influencing and driving consumption patterns form a crucial element in Europe’s climate neutrality journey. Equity considerations must simultaneously be held at the core of this debate around reducing consumption-related emissions as so far, the bottom 50% of EU households by income have disproportionately contributed to emissions reduction. The equity dimension is key to a successful transformation.
Enabling 1.5-Degree Lifestyles – lifestyles compatible with living within planetary boundaries and restricting global warming to 1.5°C – present an opportunity to achieve these targets. Policymakers at the recent COP26 also highlighted the importance of keeping the Paris Agreement target of 1.5°C alive. But what does it really mean for humanity to pursue lifestyles compatible with this target?
ZOE Institute launches a series of policy briefs on 1.5-Degree Lifestyles
ZOE Institute introduces a series of five policy briefs on 1.5-Degree Lifestyles.
Two general publications provide background information on Equitable 1.5-Degree Lifestyles: How Socially Fair Policies Can Support the Implementation of the Green Deal and on Reducing Emissions through Equitable 1.5-Degree Lifestyles: An Essential Plank in Bridging the Emissions Gap. Together, the policy briefs present the following key ideas:
- The most significant determinant of an individual’s carbon footprint is their income, with the wealthiest accounting for a substantial share of total consumption-related GHG emissions.
- Making 1.5 – Degree lifestyles accessible to all is not only a matter of individual behavioural change, it requires structural changes and systemic approaches.
- Policies influencing consumption patterns require an overhaul to avoid a default “lock-in” into unsustainable patterns for consumers.
Three upcoming publications target the hotspot areas for reducing consumption-related greenhouse gas emissions: food, housing and mobility.
The policy briefs present insights from academic research discussed and further developed in a series of Policy Labs organised by the ZOE Institute, through exchange between policy makers and other stakeholders. The policy briefs provide a guiding hand exploring how future-fit policy pathways for Europe can be created in the areas of food, mobility and housing.