The surprising link between money and CO2


Ever wondered what is the correlation between money, in terms of product value, and CO2 emissions? Or formulated in another way, how our spending habits affect our environment?

It seems that a 1000 $ in total production is equivalent to an increase of oil equivalent energy use of around 190 kg, based on the current world energy mix. Every 1 tone of oil equivalent energy equals to 2,4 tones of CO2 in the atmosphere. So for every 5000 $ in production we are releasing, on average, 2,4 tones of CO2 into the atmosphere, and almost half of this remains in the air. Putting this in perspective, 2,4 tones is the weight of a normal SUV, and half of this can’t be absorbed by nature.

– Definition: The tonne of oil equivalent (toe) is a unit of energy defined as the amount of energy released by burning one tonne of crude oil. It is approximately 42 gigajoules, although as different crude oils have different calorific values, the exact value is defined by convention; several slightly different definitions exist. The toe is sometimes used for large amounts of energy. Wikipedia. –

Keep in mind that this release is only related to production, it does not take into consideration the effects of agriculture, deforestation, water pollution or population growth, which are even more devastating to the environment and affect also other sustainability boundaries of our planet. You can read more about these on:

To get a feeling about how bad the situation is, take a look at the graphic bellow made by the U.N., it shows the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere in the last 800 000 years. Just watch what happened in the last 100 years! We did not only reach the maximum level of CO2 in the atmosphere, but we have almost doubled it, with no sign of a decrease to normal levels. We must Green UP now, and one way to do it is by adjusting our spending habits!

More about this in the next article, until then Green UP!


More data at:

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