Chart of the Day: CO2 Emissions Reduction Projections

Here’s a lovely bit of data visualization for you, via the Information is Beautiful blog, that shows the CO2 footprint of our society and how it needs to change.

First, the bad news, from this plan from New Internationalist Magazine:

Screen Shot 2019 05 21 At 1.20.04 Pm

At least in the transportation and housing sector, the authors of this particular data viz chart call for the following goals and policies, to reach zero CO2 by 2050:

Screen Shot 2019 05 21 At 1.20.20 Pm

By 2030.

Screen Shot 2019 05 21 At 1.20.29 Pm

Transportation and building changes by 2050.

The plan they lay out is ambitious, and calls for quick action by 2025:

Our zero-carbon scenario requires the global elite (the 20 per cent of global citizens who account for 70 per cent of emissions) to cut the quickest and deepest. Setting aside climate justice concerns, concentrating on US citizens who average 16.4 tonnes CO2 per person, would bring us closer to zero a lot quicker than the people of Niger, who clock up under 0.1 tonne.

In the rich world in particular, zero carbon would usher in a period of huge social change. Energy would be stringently rationed, dedicated to survival and essential activities; we’d go to bed early and rise with the sun. Expect massive disruption in the way food is grown, processed and distributed – more turnips, fewer mangoes on the menu in the UK for starters. Globally, there would be much-reduced private car use, virtually no aviation, haulage or shipping – spelling a dramatic end to material globalization as we know it.

You can check out the whole article here.

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7 Responses to Chart of the Day: CO2 Emissions Reduction Projections

  1. Lou Miranda May 22, 2019 at 6:23 am #

    Great article to chew on. This brings up a huge point that many “transportation futurists” seem to miss—that electrification of private vehicles is simply not enough by itself.

    We need to start driving less & less, questioning, for example, our 10-, 20-, and 30-mile+ commutes, to start with.

    • Bill Lindeke
      Bill Lindeke May 22, 2019 at 9:45 am #

      Agree. Walking is the greenest possible solution. Plus it’s fun and good for you.

      • Brian May 23, 2019 at 6:42 am #

        Walking is not fun in the winter. I was never so cold as when I walked two miles on a zero degree day after missing the bus.

        • Adam Miller
          Adam Miller May 23, 2019 at 9:54 am #

          Disagree. Walking in the winter is great, as long as you’re dressed for it and the sidewalk has been cleared. Generating some body heat by moving around against the cold is invigorating.

          • Mark May 23, 2019 at 1:46 pm #

            Mini-rant: 2018-2019 winter was a dud for walking, especially when considering the atrocious manner in which the sidewalks, especially corner crossings, were cleared. It was bad enough for able bodied people, but those with disabilities had significant problems getting around. The corner by us was so bad I gave up on the City and cleared the walk buttons myself.

        • Bill Lindeke
          Bill Lindeke May 23, 2019 at 8:51 pm #

          OK 2 miles is a lot but I have enjoyed 2-mile below winter walks before in my life. If you dress right it’s fine.

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