One Tonne of carbon per year

Rosalind Readhead, a candiate for London’s Mayor, has also given herself a project the aim of which is to attempt to live on one tonne of carbon per year from September 2019. This breaks down to a budget of 2.74kg of carbon emitted per day. Rosalind records everything that she consumes in a journal. This includes food, drink, transport, entertainment, data, showers, washing up, heating etc.

She attempts to give a carbon value to each consumption. Sometimes this will be based on the research of scientists like Professor Mike Berners-Lee, whose seminal book ‘How bad are bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything’ describes how values are calculated. The calculations take in many aspects and are a complex mix. They are he admits ‘best estimates’. But more than this he writes ‘I want to give you a sense of the carbon impact of everything you do and think about. I want to give you a carbon instinct.’

This will necessarily be an imperfect prototype. It won’t be an exact science and much of it will be a reasonable guesstimate.

But this project aims to give life to what net zero carbon means from a personal perspective. To add human flesh to an abstract and remote number. To inform policy and investment. To engage and educate the public. To discuss lifestyle choices and adaptation. To make the everyday a work of art.

We may be living on one tonne far sooner than people realise. Man-made Climate Breakdown is escalating far quicker than many scientists anticipated.

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