(official factor figures)
The CO₂ emission factor for electricity is taken to be 0.527 kg / kWh
There is a reduction of 25% in CO₂ emissions for the green tariffs listed.
The CO₂ factor for natural gas is 0.203 kg / kWh
Heating: the following CO₂ factors are used:
For oil: 2.96 kg / litre For coal: 3.26 kg / kg For wood: 0.10 kg / kg For bottled gas: 3.68 kg / kg
- Non-farmed fish counts as organic.
- The fertilizer used in growing food that is not organic causes greenhouse gas emissions through nitrous oxide released from the soil, and through CO₂ emissions from the manufacture and transport of fertilizer.
- Meat and dairy production generates methane from animals and slurry, and CO₂ from the energy used in farm operations.
- Food transport, packaging and processing all require energy, releasing CO₂.
- Food decomposition in landfill sites releases methane.
- Edible food can be wasted because too much is prepared, or because it has gone past its use-by date and so on.
Some greenhouse gas emissions are currently almost impossible to avoid:
methane from tilling and soil management, and CO₂ from arable farms and the operation of retail stores. These amount to around 0.2 tonnes per person/year.
Carbon dioxide is generated by the health service, schools, social services, the armed forces and so on.
You have no direct control over this amount. This amounts to 1.1 tonnes per person per year for the UK.
- the CO₂ emission factor for bus travel is taken to be 100 g/mile
- the CO₂ emission factor for rail travel is taken to be 100 g/mile
- air travel assumes emissions of ¼ tCO₂equivalent per hour flying (roughly 500 g/mile)
Your miscellaneous spending is all your other spending i.e. on:
hotels and other holidays
clothing & footwear
alcohol & tobacco
post and telecommunications
books, newspapers & magazines
Above-average (5 tonnes CO₂) Average (3.4 tonnes CO₂) Below-average (2.4 tonnes CO₂) Much below-average (1.4 tonnes CO₂).
UK average Greenhouse gases emissions per person is 13.4t (2019)
www.carbonindependent.org (the source of the overview figures) states: “There is reasonable agreement with our estimate of 9.84 tonnes CO₂ per person per year, and with our estimate of average total greenhouse gases of 13.4 tonnes equivalent per person in 2019.
The range of figures reflects the difficulties in calculating an accurate up-to-date average figure:
- One problem is that detailed figures tend to be not up to date. The most detailed figures available for the UK seem to be those in the source figures. This is a document published in 2006, quoting figures published by the University of Surrey in 2005, based on UK Government statistics of 2002 and 2004. The total has clearly changed since then.
- It is not clear how to allow for greenhouse gases other than CO₂. The two most important are methane and nitrous oxide. Methane persists in the atmosphere for around a decade, and nitrous oxide for about a century, whereas there is much uncertainty about the fate of CO₂ emissions. So while we know that methane is generated by deforestation, and the production of rice and cattle, it is not clear how we should convert methane generated by someone’s meat-eating lifestyle into an equivalent amount of CO₂, because it depends on which timescale we are considering.
But for the purposes of informing people about the ways in which their lifestyle is damaging the world, and providing a single summary figure in the form of calculator, it is necessary to pick on one timescale – and 100 years is the standard figure chosen.
The ‘sustainable’ figure of 1.5 tonnes per year is uncertain – an amount that the world’s oceans may be able to absorb. In this sense, it is sustainable – but stores of fossil fuels are finite, and so no emission level is sustainable in the very long term.”