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Benders R.M.J.,University of Groningen | Moll H.C.,University of Groningen | Nijdam D.S.,Environmental Assessment Agency PBL
Journal of Industrial Ecology | Year: 2012

Unsustainable private consumption causes energy and environmental problems. This occurs directly (resource depletion and emissions through using cars for transport) or indirectly (purchase of consumer goods and services for which the production uses energy and emits damaging gases). A hybrid energy analysis proved that indoor energy consumption, mobility, and vacations are the main consumer categories from an energy point of view. Although energy is often used as a proxy for environmental load from private consumption, there are other proxies like methane (CH 4), sulfur oxides (SO x), and land use. This article describes the results of the extension of the hybrid energy analysis with energy and ten environmental stressors (CH 4, nitrous oxide [N 2O], nitrogen, phosphate, SO x, nitrogen oxides [NO x], ammonia [NH 3], nonmethane volatile organic compounds [NMVOCs], particulate matter [PM10], and land use), combined in five impact categories (global warming potential [GWP], acidification, eutrophication, summer smog, and land use). Household consumption was analyzed by dividing Dutch household expenditure into 368 consumer items in 11 categories. The results show that food impacts, in particular, are underestimated when only energy is taken into account. Food makes the highest contribution in three out of five impact categories when all ten stressors are taken into account. Within the food domain, meat and dairy consumer items have the highest environmental impact, about 45% of total food impact on average across all five impact categories. Looking in detail (368 consumer items), there are nine food items in the top ten most-polluting items. Salad oil and cheese are the most polluting food items. © 2012 by Yale University. Source


van Vuuren D.P.,Environmental Assessment Agency PBL | Stehfest E.,Environmental Assessment Agency PBL | den Elzen M.G.J.,Environmental Assessment Agency PBL | van Vliet J.,Environmental Assessment Agency PBL | Isaac M.,Environmental Assessment Agency PBL
Energy Economics | Year: 2010

A high probability of limiting temperature increase to 2°C requires a radiative forcing below 3W/m2, around the end of this century, according to current knowledge. This paper identifies conditions under which achieving such low radiative forcing levels is feasible. Calculations here show that such targets could be achieved, based on technical and physical considerations, provided some key conditions are met. These key conditions include early participation by major sectors and regions in sufficiently stringent policy regimes, and a wide portfolio of mitigation options. Bio-energy and carbon capture and storage (CCS) play an important role in achieving low stabilisation targets. This would require optimistic lassumptions with respect to the expansion of the area needed for food production, to allow space for bio-energy crops, and a significant increase in the efficiency of second-generation biofuels. The sensitivity analysis shows that if certain technologies are removed from the available portfolio, low targets - especially the 2.6W/m2 target - are no longer within reach. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source

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