The carbon dioxide 1%, in one town

Emily Badger in Atlantic Cities: A Small Number of People Are Causing a Huge Share of Our Greenhouse Emissions. The study she’s discussing, by Dominik Saner et al, is here (behind the paywall).

This is based on a study of housing and ground transportation emissions by all households in one town in Switzerland. Badger focuses not on the top 1%, but on the top 21%, who produce 50% of the town’s emissions. She concludes:

There’s a positive way to look at all of this: When a few households are responsible for a disproportionate share of emissions, that means behavioral or technological changes within just a few households can also have an outsized impact on an entire town’s carbon footprint. Cut the emissions of that 21 percent of households in Wattwil by half, the study concludes, and the whole community’s housing and mobility emissions would fall by a quarter. That’s without anyone else doing much of anything.

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