Scientific evidence on the influence of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions on the global increase in temperatures explains the importance of improving the information we have available on the main sources of these emissions, in order to reduce them and to mitigate this serious problem. The commitments of the European Union with the signing of the Paris agreement (2015) should impact many different areas, which not only refer to political or macro-economic guidelines, but also our behavior patterns. Some studies have calculated that more than 60% of emissions are linked to our lifestyle, especially in terms of housing, food, consumption and transport.
In this context, the reduction of GHG emissions is part of a development concept that takes into account the integral wellbeing of the person and of all the different forms of life with whom we share the planet. This “sustainable” development has multiple facets that the UN has compiled into the so-called Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Among them, the commonly known as Climate Action is directly related to the reduction of GHGs, but there are others that are closely related to this objective, such as the case of Affordable and Non-Polluting Energy, Sustainable Cities and Communities and Production and Responsible consumption.
Within the framework of the Environmental Ethics Chair, we especially aim to promote the connection between SDG and the reduction of GHG. We intend to link Climate Action and Responsible Consumption by promoting the necessary information so that consumers become more aware of the climate impact of their daily habits and, consequently, adopt decisions that help reduce that impact. The main objective of this observatory is to provide relevant information in sectors of daily activities and consumption. Everything we do, including buying or eating carries with it a certain GHG emission. This is what is called the carbon footprint (CF). Knowing the value of that footprint and the alternatives available to our current consumption seems to us a necessary means for citizens to make better-informed decisions. The transition to a decarbonized society is everyone's mission. Greater environmental motivation is certainly needed, but also better information so that already convinced citizens can make decisions that are based on the best scientific criteria and arguments.