Carbon footprints, informed consumer decisions and shifts towards responsible agriculture, forestry, and other land uses?

The urgent global reduction of greenhouse gas emissions depends on political commitments to common but differentiated responsibility. Carbon footprints as a metric of attributable emissions reflect individually determined contributions within, and aggregated national contributions between, countries. Footprints per unit product (e.g., of food, feed, fuel, or fiber) require a lifecycle analysis and support individual decisions on consumption and lifestyles. This perspective presents a framework for analysis that connects the various operationalizations and their use in informing consumer and policy decisions. Footprints show geographical variation and are changing as part of political-economic and social-ecological systems. Articulation of footprints may trigger further change. Carbon footprints partially correlate with water and biodiversity footprints as related ecological footprint concepts. The multifunctionality of land use, as a solution pathway, can be reflected in aggregated footprint metrics. Credible footprint metrics can contribute to change but only if political commitments and social-cultural values and responsibilities align.



    Publication Type

    Journal articles

    Publication year

    2022

    Authors

    van Noordwijk M, Pham T T, Leimona B, Duguma L A, Baral H, Khasanah N, Dewi S, Minang P A

    Keywords

    Agriculture, forestry and other land uses(AFOLU), Ecological footprint, Indirect carbon emissions, Land use, Lifecycle analysis, Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), Theories of change, Theories of place