John Barratt: The emissions here in this pinkish-purple (indecipherable) color. These are the emissions associated with the manufacture of all the materials and products that we consume inside the UK. And these have gone up every single year now, pretty much a slight dip in the recession for about the last 20 years. So why will our emissions are going down? We are consuming more, but we're importing them, but that's okay because that's someone else's you see. So in reality, our emissions have only gone down a small amount. If we were to take into account all of those emissions associated with our imports, and if we're going to be fair, we should also then take off the emissions that we send off to be consumed in other countries which is here. So overall, now, when we look at that, our consumption impacts roughly half comes from the UK, and the other half roughly comes from imports. So the value of this reducing and changing the area of how we consume is not just emission reductions inside the UK, but we also would get reductions globally. And as I'm sure you've been told, it doesn't matter where a tonne of CO2 is produced has the same impact. So we wouldn't want to reduce our impact and then just put the impact elsewhere, would we?#
So I've gone to the very simple thinker for us to start thinking about how we can reduce this. Firstly, we can think about what we buy and if we think of our impact, in essence, is what we buy times by how it's made. And that, in essence, tells us how much our emissions will be. Now we can then consume differently or consume less. That's that first figure. Or we can make that product better. And what we're finding, in reality, is that we are making things better and better with less energy, also with less carbon to make the energy. But we're consuming more and they're roughly equaling each other out. So, therefore, our overall emission impact stays the same, so it's not going massively up, but it's also not going down. And every time we get more efficient, we are then buying and consuming more because the other problem is if you can make it better with less energy, you can make it cheaper and if you make it cheaper, you can sell it cheaper and then you can buy more. And this cycle is a real problem and it's called a rebound effect and it's a real reality. And what we find is that we're roughly then staying at the same level of emissions. So while, of course, I'm not saying we shouldn't make things better. We have to also think about the first bit, which is how much are we actually buying in the first place on to what benefit?#
We are also, we don't have an even carbon footprint. So this is the amount of energy that's required for your whole life style. Every item of expenditure that you have and I've broken it down into 20 groups. Group 20 has the highest income in the UK. That's the highest 5%, because there's five groups, five times 20, 100. Group 1 is the lowest 5% income in the UK and then it goes up gradually. So the higher your income, the greater your carbon footprint. And interestingly where we put some of the policy cost to deal with climate change on is on your domestic gas and electricity bill. And that is a considerably higher proportion of someone's footprint in a lower income group that is in a high group. And we don't put taxes so much on the activities which the higher income groups do a lot more of. So in essence, we're saying that lower-income groups should, in essence, pay more towards the climate problem. But the reverse is true in terms of the impact that it's higher income groups who have the greatest impact in terms of their carbon emissions and their energy use.#
So as well as them making me things more efficient, which we are covering a second. It's also thinking that about whether we can avoid consumption. And what's important here is for some groups, this could be very difficult indeed, because you don't want people to suddenly be plunged into a situation where they can't maintain a decent quality of life. But for other groups, avoiding consumption is a real possibility, so the higher groups potentially could avoid consumption. But those options might not be so possible in low-income groups, which makes adding a tax on things a bit tricky because obviously if it affects everyone, then it affects all groups. So if people are in a position to avoid consumption, simply consuming less is very much an option. Now more and more people are trying to understand and get a better quality of life and work-life balance. I wish I could and sometimes you think that you're working 50-60 hours a week plus, and whether the additional income after a certain level is adding enormous amount of additional quality of life is highly questionable. And at some point, the actual notion that we could work less on still maintain the same quality of life, spending more time with family with activities which we enjoy, not just our work environment is clearly an option, but in essence, does go against this idea that we're constantly be growing the overall size of the economy.#
Simply wasting less. Now this one's really important for food. But in the sense that the whole, as Mike mentioned, the whole ability for us to simply use those products for longer, to recycle the products, to share those products is clearly a key option. And so these might include products that we could use longer and I think Mike's example of the mobile phone, the smartphone is a good one. Is our quality of life considerably higher by replacing the contract after two years instead of three years? Is the new iPhone, which has a new form of selfie adding enormous amount of value to our life? Or is that just a marginal gain for a huge amount of carbon footprint and so on? I should also add, actually, I don't think it's just our personal responsibility to be making those decisions. We live in a world which is telling us to go and do that more and more and we'll probably sign contracts as well, which lock us into replacing it and so on. So this isn't also, its really important, it isn't about personal blame. This is about a system that we work in, and come to sort of policy issues to deal with that later.#
Okay, one is about repairing products as well. I've got a two-minute warning. And one end is about also sharing things better through charity shops through and other systems. A car's a good example. People's cars sit there 95% of the time never being used, but we all need to own one. And so, therefore, is there a way of sharing that better? As I said, I'm not also anti-making products better. Of course, we should try and make them more efficiently. And to do that, we could be using the waste instead of new virgin material. And it's a lot of evidence that companies could do, that link up with other companies. So the waste of one is useful for another. We could use services instead of goods. We could actually access the final aim and use of the product as opposed to actually leading to individually buy it. And I think that's covered in more detail later. We can use different materials, and I've got an example of a building here which was able to reduce the impact of building it by 70%, by using lots of wood and other materials which have a lower carbon impact. But it was also just as efficient in its use as well. So it's there, the - it can be done. And we could easily introduce a standard to tell people they have to build to a certain standard, and there's enough evidence around that it could be done. There are hundreds examples of some really good buildings in the UK. The list could be a lot longer, but there are just some tasters for it.#
And I think the take home message from me is, yes it's great to use things and make things better, but the same time we also need to think about the larger question about what we consume. So thank you.
Tim Hughes: Thank you very much to John. So the same again, a few minutes for you to jot down any questions and to hand them to your table facilitator.
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