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Herbert _ Brown 2006 - The Independent 8 December 2006...

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The Independent 8 December 2006 22:37 Your carbon footprint revealed: Climate change report finds we each produce 11 tons of carbon a year - and breaks down how we do it By Ian Herbert and Jonathan Brown The first piece of research to calculate a carbon footprint for the average British citizen has detailed the precise environmental damage each of us causes. A study by the government-funded Carbon Trust puts the annual carbon footprint of the average Briton at 10.92 tons of CO2 - roughly half of the 19 tons of CO2 produced each year by the average American . The research also demonstrates that our leisure and recreation pursuits - activities as diverse as watching a football match or taking a trip to the seaside - account for most of our emissions, rather than a lack of insulation or a predilection for 4x4 cars. The individual impact we make on the climate has tended to be diluted by carbon emission figures generated by the Office of National Statistics which detail emissions at source - electricity production, for example, or primary manufacturing. But the Carbon Trust's figures takes the overall emission figure and, using a University of Surrey model, reallocates them to the point of consumption. The data reveals an annual carbon footprint for each of 11 kinds of consumer need. That is then divided by the size of the population of Britain. Nearly a fifth of the average British citizen's 10.92 tons of CO2 - 1.95 tons - is emitted through recreation and leisure: everything from holiday trips by car and visiting a gym, which has substantial emissions, a trip to a leisure centre where the swimming pool is heated, watching television and enjoying live evening sport under floodlights. The importance of minimising carbon emissions from our homes is also reinforced by the figures, which show the average British citizen contributes 1.49 tons of CO2 a year through the heating of his or her home.
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