Household consumption is an essential component of climate policies, and especially important in countries with high carbon footprints and carbon-intensive lifestyles. GEOG research researchers Dr. Kuishuang Feng and PhD student Kaihui Song, collaborating with Former GEOG professor Dr. Klaus Hubacek, recently published a paper in a high impact journal – the Journal of Cleaner Production (IF = 7.246), which estimated consumption-based GHG emissions along the entire global supply chain for 9 income groups. The new research shows the large household carbon inequality in the U.S. The per capita carbon footprint (CF) of the highest income group (>200 thousand USD per year) with 32.3 tons is about 2.6 times the per capita CF of the lowest income group (<15 thousand USD) with 12.3 tons. Authors emphasized that large gap in consumption volume between the high- and low-income groups is the primary reason for the carbon inequality. Another important factor influencing household carbon footprints is household size and thus sharing of household equipment and other consumption items. The U.S. average per capita CF is 18.1 tons compared to the global average of approximately 5 tons. The high carbon footprint across income groups in the US is largely due to the large contribution of emissions from heating and cooling and private transport, which reflects the settlement structure and lifestyles in the US, relying heavily on cars and living in larger houses.               

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