Published on Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Europe | How does the carbon footprint of households compare?

The environmental, social and economic impact of climate change highlight the growing concern for developing strategies to combat and mitigate its effects. Households approximately emit 20% of CO2 emissions, but their carbon footprint goes beyond that.

Key points

  • Key points:
  • The household footprint includes not only the CO2 emitted directly into the atmosphere from car use, heating or cooking, but also the emissions assigned to the goods and services consumed.
  • The carbon footprints of European households differ considerably, both in size and structure, chiefly due to the high dispersion of emissions from the different economic activities that meet consumer demand, and in particular, the energy mix and the production technology available.
  • Among the countries analyzed, Germany, Poland and France have the largest footprint per capita. A second group is composed of Finland, the United Kingdom and Italy and, lastly, Bulgaria, Portugal, Spain and mainly Sweden are the countries with the smallest footprint.
  • The differences in the basket of consumption goods also contribute to the disparity in the CO2 assigned to households between countries. The clothing footprint is high in Italy and Portugal, so too is the housing footprint in the United Kingdom, and the manufactured goods footprint in Bulgaria, Poland and Germany.
  • What measures would make it possible to reduce the carbon footprint of households? Firstly, it is essential to promote the reduction of emissions generated by all sectors, particularly energy, and secondly, to implement specific measures that combine incentives based on income levels and consumption preferences.

Documents to download

  • Press article (PDF)

    JoxeMari_Barrutiabengoa_PilarMas_Como_se_compara_la_huella_de_carbono_de_los_hogares_europeos_Expansion_WB.pdf Spanish January 25, 2023


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