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Open AccessArticle

Uncovering Household Carbon Footprint Drivers in an Aging, Shrinking Society

1
Graduate School of Fisheries and Environmental Sciences, Nagasaki University, 1-14 Bunkyo-machi, Nagasaki 852-8521, Japan
2
International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research, Kyushu University, 744 Motooka, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka 819-0395, Japan
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2019, 12(19), 3745; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12193745
Received: 31 July 2019 / Revised: 14 September 2019 / Accepted: 28 September 2019 / Published: 30 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Low Carbon Technologies and Transition)
In order to meet climate change mitigation goals, nations such as Japan need to consider strategies to reduce the impact that lifestyles have on overall emission levels. This study analyzes carbon footprints from household consumption (i.e., lifestyles) using index and structural decomposition analysis for the time period from 1990 to 2005. The analysis identified that households in their 40s and 50s had the highest levels of both direct and indirect CO2 emissions, with decomposition identifying consumption patterns as the driving force behind these emissions and advances in CO2 reduction technology having a reducing effect on lifestyle emissions. An additional challenge addressed by this study is the aging, shrinking population phenomenon in Japan. The increase in the number of few-member and elderly households places upward pressure on emissions as the aging population and declining national birth rate continues. The analysis results offer two mitigatory policy suggestions: the focusing of carbon reduction policies on older and smaller households, and the education of consumers toward low-carbon consumption habits. As the aging, shrinking population phenomenon is not unique to Japan, the findings of this research have broad applications globally where these demographic shifts are being experienced. View Full-Text
Keywords: CO2 emissions; carbon footprint; household consumption; index decomposition analysis; structural decomposition analysis; aging society; Japan CO2 emissions; carbon footprint; household consumption; index decomposition analysis; structural decomposition analysis; aging society; Japan
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MDPI and ACS Style

Huang, Y.; Shigetomi, Y.; Chapman, A.; Matsumoto, K. Uncovering Household Carbon Footprint Drivers in an Aging, Shrinking Society. Energies 2019, 12, 3745.

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