A recent study performed by two Finnish researchers from Aalto University reveals that people living in the countryside pollute just as much as city dwellers. They used a different approach to fund their study’s conclusion, placing the source of CO2 at the consumer site rather than at the production site, like it’s been done before.
“If a TV set is made in a factory in the countryside but bought and used by a person in a town, the carbon emission generated from making the television should be allocated to the consumer, not to a manufacturer making it for the consumer,” said Jukka Heinonen, one of the researchers.
Their hybrid life cycle analysis (LCA) is new and quantifies production, monetary transactions and consumption statistics to pull that conclusion. Such cycle analyses had not been yet conducted because of their complex nature, but Jukka Heinonen and Professor Seppo Junnila were able to measure the impact of consumed services on the carbon footprint.
They linked wealth with increased CO2 emissions, mainly due to the fact that richer people fly more and spend more on goods that had been produced with CO2 emissions. The biggest factors that influenced the carbon footprint were housing energy, heat and cooling, construction and maintenance of buildings, private transportation. The latter’s impact was relatively low compared to the others’.