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Scientists have found which gender is likely to have the biggest carbon footprint

A man awaits his flight at an airport.
A man awaits his flight at an airport. Copyright Canva
Copyright Canva
By Johan Bodinier
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One of the reasons is that men spend more than women, according to researchers.

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Gender differences exist in most areas of life. But it's now been proven that your carbon footprint is also influenced by your sex.

The study found that single men were responsible for the most carbon emissions - in Sweden at least, where the research was done.

Why are single men in Sweden responsible for the most emissions?

One major, and perhaps fairly obvious reason, is that single people are more likely to drive or travel alone. Transport is one of the biggest contributors to individual carbon footprints.

But the study, conducted by the Banque de France, also revealed other reasons for the disparities.

A single man tends to spend 2% more than a single woman does. The items such a man buys tend to create 16% more greenhouse gases (GHGs), on average. 

Solo men also spend more on GHG intensive goods and services, like transport (45%) and holidays (24%).

Single women tend to consume more products and services with a small environmental footprint.

How can the study help policymakers?

The objective of the study was to expose differences between consumers, and to understand consumers' rather than producers' impacts on climate change.

Considering consumer habits could help to tailor education on climate change.

As the report notes, “National public policies and international policy frameworks could benefit from taking into account gender and environment interactions to enhance their effectiveness and their articulation [of] climate justice objectives.”

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