Your personal contribution to climate change
On average, each person in the UK is responsible for the emission of the equivalent of around 12.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. However, carbon emissions per person in the Winchester district are about 12% higher than the national average, probably due to a higher standard of living. Indeed, a WWF report published in October 2007 showed that Winchester residents had the largest ecological footprint of all 60 cities in England, Scotland and Wales.
Climate scientists tell us that our carbon dioxide emissions need to be reduced to around 2.5 tonnes per person per year by 2050, and the sooner we start to make this reduction, the less serious the consequences of climate change will be, both for us and for future generations. In particular, WinACC, with Winchester City Council, is aiming for a one-third reduction in the average carbon footprint of households and organisations in the Winchester district from 2007 levels by the end of 2015.
Some of your carbon dioxide emissions are “direct” and others are “indirect”, as shown on the graph above. Your direct emissions are the ones you have most control over. The main ones are due to heating your home, operating electrical appliances in your home and personal travel. On average, they total 6 tonnes per person per year.
Your indirect emissions are your share of other UK carbon emissions, for example in the production and manufacture of the food and other goods you buy. Emissions related to your job, for example business travel and office heating, also form part of your indirect emissions. Indirect emissions are harder to influence than direct ones, but they are of similar overall importance, averaging a total of 6.5 tonnes per person per year.
Other significant indirect emissions relate to the manufacture and transport of imported goods.These emissions are not included in the figures or graph above; they are usually included in the emissions of the manufacturing country rather than in UK emissions. A recent study suggested that, for many Europeans, the emissions attributable to imports is over 4 tonnes per person per year higher than the emissions attributable to exports.
The graph above shows the main sources of carbon emissions in the UK and the average annual amount per person. Flights are included in this, but the amount of emissions due to flying varies considerably between individuals. If you fly regularly, particularly if you take long-haul flights, your direct emissions are likely to be much higher than the UK average. The graph also shows the emissions associated with some common flights. Read our flights tips for more information.
If you would like to give feedback on this site, or have any suggestions for improvement, please contact us or post a comment here. We are particularly keen to hear about other organisations and initiatives in and around Winchester which can help people reduce their carbon footprint.
The information on this page is provided in good faith and reflects our understanding of the underlying science and technology at the time of writing, but we cannot guarantee that it is wholly accurate. All figures for costs, savings and other matters are estimates: the actual figures will depend on your particular circumstances and may differ (perhaps significantly) from those shown. Although we have included links to various organisations, we are not recommending these organisations: it is your responsibility to check that they are suitable for your needs. Nonetheless, if you experience difficulties with any of the links or organisations, or believe that any of the information presented here is inaccurate, please let us know and we will update this page if we consider it necessary.