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GHG reduction potential of changes in consumption patterns Evidence from Swiss household consumption survey. Bastien Girod and Peter de Haan Institute for environmental decisions (IED), ETH Zurich. Structure of presentation. Relevance of the research question Method

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GHG reduction potential of changes in consumption patterns Evidence from Swiss household consumption survey

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GHG reduction potential of changes in consumption patternsEvidence from Swiss household consumption survey

Bastien Girod and Peter de Haan

Institute for environmental decisions (IED), ETH Zurich


Structure of presentation

  • Relevance of the research question

  • Method

    • Estimate of GHG emissions of consumption

    • Deriving high and low emitters

  • Results

  • Conclusion


Why potential of changing consumption for reducing GHG emissions matters

  • Problem: Very costly/ hardly feasible to reach low GHG stabilization level only using changing technologies

  • “We need to change our consumption patterns” RajendraPachauri 05.07.2009

  • Research questions:

    • What is potential influence of changing consumption patterns?

    • Which consumption characteristics make the difference between high and low emitters?


Methodforbottom-upestimate

  • Household consumption data (N=14’580)

    • Surveys 2000 to 2003; all purchases of one month

    • 450 consumption categories

    • Additional data: Durable goods & household characteristics

  • Derive functional unit of consumption

    • Example: kg food, pkm car, m2 shelter, hr service

  • Connect with LCA process  GHG emissions


Derive functional (physical) units

 Resulting GHG estimates comparable to studies using EIO data and expenditure survey or top-town data


Whatisthe potential ofchangingconsumption?

  • Best-practice-consumption: 10% ofhouseholdswithlowest GHG emissions

  • Worst-practice-consumption: 10% ofhouseholdswithhighest GHG emissions

  • Advantage:

    • Noassumption on whatwouldbepossible

    • Consistentconsumptionpattern (reboundincluded)


GHG emissionsofhouseholdtypes


GHG emissionsofhouseholdtypes


GHG emissionsofhouseholdtypes


GHG emissions hh type & income group


Same income group and household type


Same income group and household type


Comparison of high and low emitters

Mean


GHG emissions [kgCO2e/yr]


High and low emitters matter

For instance, the Swiss Kyoto target of reducing

GHG emissions by 8 percent (compared to 1990)

by 2010 could be reached if:

  • the share of households showing best-practice consumption were to increase by 15 percent

  • 9 percent of the households showing worst-practice consumption patterns were to shift to a consumption pattern with average emissions


Expenditure[CHF/yr]


Prices [CHF/functional unit]


GHG intensity [kgCO2/functional unit]


Consumption characteristics


Conclusionformitigationpolicy

  • Few crucial consumption categories

    • car use, airplane, living and electricity. remaining variance can be explained by goods and food.

  • No absolute indicators for low GHG footprint

  • Consider total GHG emissions of households

  • Promote expenditure on quality and leisure


Conclusionsforresearch on impactofquality

We found that “green” consumer opt for higher quality.

  • But: higher quality goods might also lead to higher impact

    • Use of more exclusive materials, processing, less economy of scales

  • Also the opposite can be true

    • Organic food, longer life time, regional production (transport, energy mix, environmental standards)


Thank you for questions and commentsbastien.girod@env.ethz.ch


Whatisthe potential ofchangingconsumption?

  • Best-practice-consumption: Emitters withlowest GHG emissions

  • Worst-practice-consumption: Emitters withhighest GHG emissions

  • Considerationofhouseholdtypesandincome

  • Advantage:

    • Noassumption on whatwouldbepossible

    • Consistentconsumptionpattern (reboundincluded)


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