Carbon emissions are inevitably linked to lifestyle and consumption behaviours, and the concept of “carbon footprinting” is now well-recognised beyond academia. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is one of the primary tools for assessing carbon footprints. The aim of this paper is to present a systematic review of literatures focusing on carbon footprint calculated with life cycle assessment. We used CiteSpace software to draw the knowledge map of related research to identify and trace the knowledge base and frontier terminology. It was found that the LCA application in respects of carbon footprint studies was completed mainly for the following aspect: beef production and dairy industry, seafood and fishery, nutrition, urban structure and energy use. The CiteSpace analysis showed the development path of the above aspects, for example, beef production and dairy industry has been a long-term topic in this kind of research, while the topic of nutrition appeared in recent years. There was also a cluster of literature discussing footprint evaluation tools, such as comparing LCA with input–output analysis. The CiteSpace analysis indicated that earlier methodological literature still plays an important role in recent research. Moreover, through the analysis of burst keywords, it was found that agriculture productions (dairy, meat, fish, crop) as well as global climate issues (greenhouse gases emission, global warming potential) have always been the areas of concern, which matches the result of co-citation analysis. Building materials (low-carbon building, natural buildings, sustainable buildings) and soil issues (soil carbon sequestration, soil organic carbon) are the topics of recent concern, which could arouse the attention of follower-up researchers.
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