HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
In order to be aware, as an individual, of our impact on the environment (and more particularly our greenhouse gas emissions) it is interesting to calculate our carbon footprint
How to act on climate change? It is easier to consider that action must come from others, from orgnisations or from outside our home. There is a tendency to oppose individual and collective actions, yet both are as inseparable as they are necessary. Small individual actions will have their limits and only collective and systemic changes can have the necessary impact.
But every effort, however small, should not be mocked or criticised; but encouraged as it is necessary to start somewhere!
To be aware, as an individual, of our impact on the environment (and more particularly our greenhouse gas emissions) it is interesting to calculate our carbon footprint. In order to limit global warming to 1.5°C, the global average of emissions per person should be about 2.1 tonnes per year by 2030.
Average carbon footprint of a French person: Example of the graph “Doing your bit” from Carbone 4 which shows the gap and the efforts to be made : the current average is 10.8t CO2eq (varying slightly according to the sources)
So how do you calculate your carbon footprint?
Here is a simulator from ADEME. You will find others but this one has the advantage of being public (it does not belong to a private company) and the calculation method is transparent.
Example of another carbon footprint calculator: Footprint calculator from the Global Footprint Network (calculates your Personal Overshoot Day)
These systems have limits as it is impossible to know our exact carbon footprint, but they do allow us to analyse our emissions and become aware of the changes we need to make.
Individual impact is often overestimated and individual actions will not be enough. But we can still take action: vote and vote with our money, eat less meat and eat locally, change our bank (banks and fossil fuels), change our electricity supplier, take our car less often (prefer public transport, walking, cycling…), travel by train, reduce our waste, buy second-hand…. non-exhaustive list..
Here are 9 things you can do about climate change
More info: Doing your fair share for the climate? by Carbone 4