Progress on lifestyles has been far too slow
Enabling climate-positive lifestyles is key to the transition to climate neutrality. However, through 2019, the per person material footprint in the EU was moving in the 'wrong direction'. More recent positive trends are likely significantly skewed by disruptions to consumption patterns that occurred during the pandemic. The per person carbon footprint has been declining but far too slowly. Insufficient or even no data make it challenging to assess the enablers that will determine the development of material and carbon footprints in the future – particularly those related to the decisive infrastructures that promote climate-conscious behaviour, such as the availability of high-quality public transport. Economic incentives for behaviour change have developed somewhat in the right direction with higher carbon prices likely influencing energy consumption. But no information was found to compare, for example, the actual affordability of vegetarian compared to animal-based dietary options. Similarly, the diffusion of climate neutral habits could only be assessed through self-reported climate-conscious behaviour, which is on track.