Recent studies such as the 1.5-Degree Lifestyles report illustrate the scale of the sustainable living challenge: the need for reductions of over 80 per cent in GHGs by 2050 from today’s intensity of lifestyles. This study proposes that we need to aim for per-capita lifestyle carbon footprint targets of 2.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2eq) by 2030, 1.4 tCO2eq by 2040 and 0.7 tCO2eq by 2050.
Similarly, shifting to renewable forms of energy production can enable us to achieve only a bit more than half of the required reductions in global GHG emissions. In order to tackle the remaining half, consumption patterns and dominant lifestyles need to be shifted with the support of circular economy interventions. Consumer choices for eco-designed products need to be available and accessible, waste within product chains and end-of-product-life need to be eliminated, keeping materials in use needs to be made easy for consumers, and regenerative forms of living need to be supported.
Cities, where consumption and production meet, provide the perfect leverage points for enabling 1.5 °C living. Recent household experiments for sustainable living such as the Future Lifestyles project show that enabling urban infrastructures and municipal services have to be in place. These transitions especially need to happen in three priority domains – nutrition, housing and mobility – which cover the majority (approx. 75 per cent) of city dwellers’ carbon footprints.
High Level Session:
This session gives a new impetus to the importance of low-carbon lifestyles for climate change mitigation. After the opening note, a roundtable discussion will gather policymakers, academics and the business sector to provide perspectives on the role cities and other stakeholders play in enabling 1.5 degree living. This session will also mark the launch of the Human Settlements Pathway of the Marrakech Partnership Global Climate Action initiative, which Gonzalo Muñoz, UNFCCC High-Level Climate Champion, will announce.
The ‘Envisioning Future Low-Carbon Lifestyles and Transitioning Instruments’, 2019-2021, is a demonstration project through the United Nations’ One Planet network. Funded by the Government of Japan through its contribution to the 10YFP Trust Fund, administered by UNEP. This project is led by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Japan, in collaboration with the following organisations. Project partners from 5 countries worked in 6 cities to analyse the lifestyle carbon footprint and engaged with citizens to identify the possible lifestyle changes at each city toward achieving the 1.5-Degree target.
This session starts with the introduction of the overall achievements of the analysis and participatory process at 6 cities. Then it organises a roundtable discussion among experts working on the project at 6 cities to accentuate the importance of a city specific approach and engaging citizens to choose the transition pathways towards sustainable lifestyles.