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:

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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:

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By 2030.

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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.

Bill Lindeke

About Bill Lindeke

Pronouns: he/him

Bill Lindeke has writing blogging about sidewalks and cities since 2005, ever since he read Jane Jacobs. He is a lecturer in Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota Geography Department, the Cityscape columnist at Minnpost, and has written multiple books on local urban history. He was born in Minneapolis, but has spent most of his time in St Paul. Check out Twitter @BillLindeke or on Facebook.