One of the key take-homes from the IPCC’s new report on limiting global warming is the role that individual citizens will need to take.

Limiting a global temperature rise to 1.5OC will require huge changes at all levels of society, says the IPCC. Its report urges people to demand low-carbon in every consumer product and service; from their choice of energy supplier, to the food they eat, to the clothes they wear smart phone they buy – laying down a challenge for brands and manufacturers to make those products available.
Talking to the BBC, Deborah Roberts, a co-chair of the IPCC, said: “I think there’s a very empowering message for the individual because this is not about remote science, it’s about where we live and work. People can see that by being involved directly themselves, making personal decisions, they can become part of the massive changes needed.”
The IPCC’s call on individuals to play their part in limiting global warming is likely to trigger demands for a clearer carbon labelling scheme. A recent study by the Carbon Trust highlighted highlighted a “value-action gap” in which many consumers suggest that carbon footprint labelling is a good idea, but just over half of those surveyed admit they do not generally consider a products carbon footprint when purchasing.
An earlier report by Confederation of British Industry noted: “While many companies are doing excellent work with consumers, on a macro scale, this diverse handful of individual initiatives cannot create a significant surge in demand for low-carbon products. We need wider, more concerted action to build the mass market integral to the rebalancing of our economy towards low-carbon.”