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Environmental and Climate Technologies

The Journal of Riga Technical University

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Mājsaimniecību Ietekme uz Klimatu Latvijā: Oglekļa Pēdas Rādītājs

J. Brizga1 / I. Kudreņickis1

Faculty of Economics and Management, University of Latvia, Raiņa bulv. 19-416, LV-1586, Riga, Latvia1

This content is open access.

Citation Information: Scientific Journal of Riga Technical University. Environmental and Climate Technologies. Volume 3, Issue 3, Pages 34–40, ISSN (Print) 1691-5208, DOI: 10.2478/v10145-009-0004-9, March 2010

Publication History

Published Online:
2010-03-26

Mājsaimniecību Ietekme uz Klimatu Latvijā: Oglekļa Pēdas Rādītājs

People more and more recognize climate change as one of the main environmental problems and the term ‘carbon footprint’ (CF) has become popular and is now in widespread use. In this paper, the CF concept has been applied to analyse average per capita household Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in Latvia. We explore household CF in housing (heating and electricity consumption), transport, food and goods and service sectors, which are the main household environmental pressure areas. This paper provides an understanding of both direct and indirect (embodied) GHG emissions. Results from the study suggest that the average Latvian exceeds its global fair share of GHG emissions - the average per capita GHG in 2006 was 4.35 t CO2e. The highest household emissions arise from housing (37%), mobility (26%) and food consumption (25%), goods and services together account only for 12% of total household GHG emissions. This study, however, does not cover capital investments in infrastructure (roads, public buildings etc.) which could increase total emission by almost a ton. The study emphasizes that attention must be paid to the lifestyles, infrastructure and institutions that result in considerable amounts of carbon being locked up in the household activities through which people meet their everyday needs. The findings also indicate that policies should be targeted at the segments in society responsible for the highest carbon footprints, ie. housing, food and mobility.

Keywords: carbon dioxide emissions; carbon footprint; consumption patterns; households; indirect carbon emissions

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