Current lifestyles in the context of future climate targets: analysis of long-term scenarios and consumer segments for residential and transport

07-09-2022 | Artikel

The carbon emissions of individuals strongly depend on their lifestyle, both between and within regions. Therefore, lifestyle changes could have a significant potential for climate change mitigation. This potential is not fully explored in long-term scenarios, as the representation of behaviour change and consumer heterogeneity in these scenarios is limited. We explore the impact and feasibility of lifestyle and behaviour changes in achieving climate targets by analysing current per-capita emissions of transport and residential sectors for different regions and consumer segments within one of the regions, namely Japan. We compare these static snapshots to changes in per-capita emissions from consumption and technology changes in long-term mitigation scenarios. 

The analysis shows less need for reliance on technological solutions if consumption patterns become more sustainable. Furthermore, a large share of Japanese consumers is characterised by consumption patterns consistent with those in scenarios that achieve ambitious climate targets, especially regarding transport. The varied lifestyles highlight the importance of representing consumer heterogeneity in models and further analyses.