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Climate change: UK’s carbon footprint down 17% as pandemic helps people adopt environmentally friendly lifestyles | Climate News

The UK’s overall carbon footprint has shrunk by 17%, in part thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, a major study has found.

Lockdown restrictions have reduced the number of trips people take, which is the biggest contributor to an average footprint.

But the British adopted more environmentally friendly lifestyles before the COVID epidemic, research by environmental organization WWF and the Stockholm Environment Institute at the University of York shows.

Over 300,000 responses to WWF’s carbon footprint calculator showed an average 17% reduction in the overall carbon footprint, as well as a 25% increase in the number of people switching to a plant-based diet (vegetarian or vegan) between February 2019 and October 2020.

The number of people who have switched to 100% renewable energy has almost doubled, from 12% to 21%.

This alone could reduce each individual’s footprint by an average of 2.9 tonnes of greenhouse gases per year, a significant saving compared to an annual average of 13.9 tonnes.

The average footprint has decreased across all areas of lifestyle, indicating that the UK has an appetite for a more sustainable lifestyle.

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About a third (30%) of the average person’s footprint comes from travel, where habits are proving more difficult to change, data shows.

While the pandemic and lockdown restrictions, particularly the decrease in domestic and international flights, have helped, there is a problem with the use of public transport.

Even before COVID-19, more than 60% of respondents did not travel by public transport (bus or train), and trends show a decline in the use of public transport.

Shifting to low-carbon transport – including cycling, public transport and electric cars – helps reduce the travel footprint.

The study shows that people who embrace lifestyle changes in one area are more likely to have a smaller overall carbon footprint in other areas as well.

For example, people who always go out …

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This notice was published: 2021-04-20 17:04:00