The Carbon Footprint

The carbon footprint is the total amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases emitted over the full life cycle of a product, service or event.

The carbon footprint can be reduced by reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and methane.

You need to be able to give a range of methods to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide and methane such as:

Reducing Emissions of Carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere when we burn hydrocarbons such as gas and oil. To reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide we could attempt to collect the carbon dioxide before it is released into the atmosphere in a process known as "Carbon Capture". This carbon can then be pumped into deep underground caverns where it will absorb into the porous rocks. 

Reducing Emissions of Methane

Cattle farming produces a vast quantity of methane and therefore an effective way to reduce the emissions of methane would be o move away drom a meat based diet towards a more plant based diet. This would also be a more effective use of land as the land used to produce cattle feed could be used to grow crops and vegetables. 

The Limitations

When discussing the limitations of introducing measure to restrict the emissions of greenhouses gases you need to be able to discuss it at both an international and individual level.

At an international level limitations come from the fact that there is not a clear agreement on the causes and consequences of global climatic change. This means that there is not a consensus on what should be done. The proposal of restrictions on the production of carbon dioxide could also hinder the development of countries who have not yet developed suitable technologies. This effect would be greatest on the poorer countries.

At an individual level it is difficult to ensure everyone is aware of the need to make a change. Often people are not convinced that small contributions will make a difference and there can be a difference in opinion of whether action is required.

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