Are there any published academic studies which compare per-capita carbon footprint against discretionary carbon footprint (ie. lifestyle-connected emissions)?
- per-capita footprint is the result of dividing a country's total emissions by its number of citizens.
- discretionary carbon footprint is the sum total of lifestyle activities, each calculated on an life cycle analysis (LCA) basis.
The per-capita footprint is likely to be higher than discretionary carbon footprint due to industries outside the direct control of individuals. For example, per-capita footprint assigns each citizen a share of emissions from military activities, but those are outside the power of individuals to change.
But discretionary carbon footprint could also be higher than expected if the country spends a lot of money on imports. For example, if a very rich country was powered entirely by imported electricity (or imported solar panels) then it would have seemingly low emissions on a national basis because the emissions from producing electricity would be accounted for in a different country.
Related keywords: global multi-region input–output, PAS 2070 – A specification for assessing city greenhouse gas emissions, environmentally extended input-output (EEIO) model, Classification of Individual Consumption According to Purpose (COICOP) structure.