Energy - Carbon Footprint

Most human activities produce carbon dioxide emissions. Such activities include transport, energy, food production and waste. A carbon footprint is a way to measure the amount of carbon emissions that an activity creates. The way we live dictates the size of our own individual carbon footprint - obviously, the kinder you are to the environment, the smaller your footprint will be. The amount of carbon released into the atmosphere is measured in tonnes.

The average person in the EU emits 11 tonnes of CO2 per year. During the 'Celtic Tiger' growth era the Irish did not compare well to the EU average; with every person in Ireland responsible for 17 tonnes of carbon entering our atmosphere every year! Believe it or not, the ideal carbon footprint should be 2/3 tonnes per person per annum. Although the per capita figure is reduced in Ireland it is essential to ensure that a return to economic growth is decoupled from a growth in greenhouse gas emissions.

To calculate your carbon footprint:

Did you know?

  • Rising sea levels, caused by seas expanding in the hotter temperatures, already mean that some insurance companies are refusing to cover low-lying areas. Ireland is likely to see more hurricanes and floods.
  • The poorest countries in the world will be worst effected (initially at least), resulting in millions of environmental refugees. First world countries will have a moral obligation to provide aid to these countries.
  • See the news – small islands in certain parts of the world are already disappearing due to rising sea levels.