In a completely equal world, everyone’s and each country’s share of the world’s CO2 emissions would be equal to its share of their activities and the global population.
But we all know that, this is not reality, not yet.
On a per-person basis, responsibility for greenhouse-gas emissions is no contest. Right now, the rich dominate, but we all suffer from climate change. I’ve explored what does the relationship between regional and income group levels and CO2 emissions, found out that:
- All countries in the high-income group emit more that their population share
- All low-income groups emit less than their population share
- The US emits more than 3 times its population share
- India emits less than its share (7% of emissions vs 18% of population)
There are large inequalities in CO2 emissions: the world’s poorest have contribute less than 1% of emissions but will be the most vulnerable to climate change impacts. Since most of those poorer countries are concentrated in hotter parts of the world, like Africa, South Asia and Central America. In such places, a tick up in temperatures can quickly cut labour productivity while increasing levels of crime or illnesses. The average US citizen generates about 20 metric tons of carbon dioxide, accounting for 25% of cumulative emissions a year through the use of electricity, heating and cooling, vehicles, manufacturing and the other energy-intensive facets of modern daily life. For various reasons, Japan and Europe have far lower emissions, with Japan and the UK, for example, just under 10 tons per person per year. In China, the number is about 3.8 tons. In India, it’s 1.2 tons per person.
But you may ask, how much is too much?
To answer this question, please question yourself “do you really need the things you bought, or do you just want it?”
A research told us that the growing environmental toll that waste production has on the planet, the world produces 2.3 billion tons of municipal solid waste each year, which is enough to fill 822,000 Olympic-sized pools. In the United States, for example, produce 3 times as much garbage as the global average; Russia, which is not too far behind the US, produces over 200 million tons of garbage every year. As a country becomes richer, the composition of its waste changes – more fancy packaging, electronic components, broken toys, household furniture and appliances.
The largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities in the world is from daily consumption and wastage, burning fossil fuels for electricity and transportation. Throughout a product’s lifecycle, various greenhouse gases may be emitted, from their production, transportation, usage and disposal.
This get back to a central question here on EQUIPLY, when we buy more than we need, that is too much for us and for the Earth.
In the end, my ultimate goal is to be an equal-opportunity explorer of ideas that everyone needs to pay for their CO2 emissions on every level, every single item they purchased.
Let’s imagine together…
What if everyone on the Earth, emitting the same CO2, per capita, as the US? That would be 132 billion tons of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere each year, this means that for the 4 Earths we would need if everyone consumed like an American. But, do we have 4 more Earths for us to enjoy? (or I should say “waste”)
Getting back to that baseline question, if everyone in the world was equal in emissions, what will the world and the atmosphere be like?
The truth is, we only have one Earth, the only one. We either save it or destroy it quickly, it is our choice!