By changing eating and travel habits, we can reach the Swedish national climate target of reducing our emissions by 40% compared to 1990 levels by the year 2020. While we have already reduced our emissions by 25%, it is still 10.7 million ton CO2 emissions per year too much.

In 2020, the population in Sweden will reach 10.237.204. According to statistics from Swedish National Food Agency, the total consumption of meat is 75,72 kilo per person per year (PPPY). The total emissions from meat consumption will be 11.142.607 tonnes CO2 (tCO2). A maximum of one piece of meat per week (15.60 kg PPPY) will reduce the total emissions from meat consumption to 2.295.693 tCO2.

Swedes travel abroad 2.7 times a year, and the most popular destinations are in Spain. The total number of flights is 138.202 per year, and the average capacity of an airplane is 200 people. A round trip from Stockholm to Madrid causes 450.6 kg CO2 emissions (12.454.787,13 tCO2 in total), and would we skip just one international flight per year, we would save additional 4.6 million tCO2 emissions.

The possible reductions

In total, we would save the environment from 13,4 million tCO2 emissions per year, which is the equivalent of 25% of Sweden’s total GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions in 2015. In theory, this means that we could outperform the climate target 2020 significantly. It is difficult to determine exactly by how much since the climate target only accounts for territorial emissions. Much of the meat we consume is imported and emissions from air travel only account for the portion of fuel used from Sweden.

Despite that this is a great effort to tackle climate change; a far more efficient strategy would be to reallocate our savings to fossil free investments. Our study shows that if Swedish investors were to ensure that at least 80% of their fund holdings are fossil free, we could compensate for as much emissions as half of Sweden’s total GHG emissions.