Using a carbon calculator can be an important step to understanding one’s current carbon impact. For those in the United States, University of California, Berkeley’s CoolClimate calculator is one of the best we’ve found.
When it comes to reducing global emissions, it is important to consider the stark inequalities that exist between and within countries. Many of those worst impacted by climate change often have less access to resources, meaning that they are both less responsible for the emissions that cause global warming and likely need to increase their footprint to escape poverty. Others might have a higher carbon footprint due to their nation’s energy grid, something that they have less immediate control over. Finally, it is essential to remember that there is no such thing as an individual, as each individual is deeply connected within the human and living world. There is so much more to regeneration than activities that directly lower carbon numbers including sharing, teaching, electing, demonstrating, conserving, and growing.
Given these caveats, it is still valuable to understand one’s current carbon impact and how it needs to change by 2030. A global average emissions of 3.8 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per person per year is roughly on track for the 2030 and 2050 targets outlined by the IPCC. Are you above or below this baseline? By how much? How much is in your direct control and everyday choices? What can you and your community be working to improve or change?