The UK Government says the average carbon footprint is 6.8 tonnes, why do you say it's 10.51?
Rob Baldwyn avatar
Written by Rob Baldwyn
Updated over a week ago

10.51 tonnes of carbon emissions per year aligns with the WWF’s estimate of the average UK citizen's footprint. This was calculated using data from the Office for National Statistics.

The reason for the WWF’s estimate being higher than the UK Government estimate is down to a process called ‘carbon offshoring’ – where the carbon footprint of imported goods and services aren’t included in the UK’s total carbon footprint.

For example, the UK has reduced coal-fired power generation on home turf, but still imports coal from overseas. Because the coal (which is a big emitter of carbon dioxide) is imported it’s not included in the UK’s carbon footprint, along with other imported goods and raw materials that are carbon-intensive. The calculation we use takes into account the carbon emissions of imported goods, which is why it’s higher.

WWF’s calculations have also been examined by Professors Thomas Wiedmann and John Barrett who specialise in environmental footprint analysis and carbon accounting. If you’d like more information on WWF’s methodology, you can find it here.

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