Carbon footprint of best conserving Americans ‘still double world average’

Even the people with the lowest usage of energy in the United States still produce, on average, more than double the global per-capita average carbon emissions, a class at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has found.

The MIT class estimated the carbon footprint of US residents in a wide variety of lifestyles, from the homeless to multimillionaires, and compared them to those of other nations, Science Daily reported. They found anyone who lives in the US contributes more than twice as much greenhouse gas to the atmosphere as the global average. The average annual carbon footprint was 20 tonnes, compared to a world average of four tonnes.

A major factor is the array of government services that are available to everyone in the US: these basic services, including police, roads, libraries, the court system and the military, were allocated equally to everyone in the country in the study. Other services that are more specific, such as education, were allocated only to those who actually make use of them.

See full story