UK National Averages
Figure 1 shows how an average individual's carbon footprint can be broken down into several categories. Often carbon calculators include figures for emissions due to industry - for more details on industry allocations, visit www.defra.gov.
Figure 1: Breakdown of carbon emissions for average person in the UK.
The average person's carbon footprint is about 10 tonnes, which is equivalent to filling 24 million balloons with carbon. This figure includes your proportion of the UK's emissions from industry, so the carbon footprint calculated by Carbon Calculator will be much lower - it is an indication of the carbon emissions you are directly responsible for.
Carbon emissions due to road transport are currently on the increase - industrial road transport produces 86 million tonnes of carbon every year, and private road transport (mainly cars) produces 62.8 million tonnes a year. This equates to 18% of the UK's emissions of greenhouse gas. It is expected that the number of cars on the road will double by 2025 - given the above figures, this represents a huge rise in carbon emissions.
The carbon emissions from air travel are more difficult to quantify, as it is sometimes unclear to which country the emissions should be allocated. However, in 2002, the air travel industry in the UK produced 37.5 million tonnes of carbon.
In total in 2003, the UK produced 786 million tonnes of carbon emissions. 218 million tonnes of this can be attributed to electricity, gas and water supplies, with the manufacturing industries responsible for another 129 million tonnes. Only 7.5% of this energy comes from renewable (green) sources.
Globally, an incredible 26% of the total energy used is used by Americans, who constitute just 5% of the population - compare this with the 2 billion people who have no electricity at all.
The world's population produces 16 million tonnes of carbon emissions every 24 hours, of which the UK alone is responsible for 13%.
The concentration of carbon in the atmosphere has increased by 40% since the Industrial Revolution began.
If we were to plant a forest with the aim of offsetting the UK's carbon emissions, the forest would need to cover the entire area of the UK and half as much again.