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Identifying Scenarios

Scenarios were developed to meet a set of criteria and were included if:

  • Components were subject to existing policy targets (for example, cited in strategy and policy documents published by the local government agencies - see Cornwall County Council, 2000; GOSW & SWRA, 2004 and SWRA, 2004, 2004a and 2004b).
  • It will be possible to implement change, either through a change in behaviour of individuals, or by community wide policy initiatives (for example, to demonstrate the effect of changing recycling habits).
  • They were significant contributors to the overall ecological footprint.
  • Data on which they were based was sufficiently robust at the level of disaggregation required. The assessment of the robustness was based on reliability, authority and impartiality of the source, availability of South West specific data, and the level of proxying required.

In some instances, if not all of these criteria were met, but it was felt that a component made a significant contribution to the ecological footprint, or that an issue was of particular interest, a vignette was developed.

Three scenario areas were footprinted:

  • Direct energy:
    • Housing and domestic energy.
    • Renewable electricity.
  • Waste:
    • Municipal solid waste (MSW).
    • Commercial and Industrial waste (C&I).
  • Transport:
    • Biofuels

As the scenario results and methodology are linked, they have been reported together.

One planet lifestyles?

The South West residents' ecological footprint for 2001 was 5.56 gha per person. The average 'earthshare' is 1.9 gha (Redefining Progress, 2002). To bring the South West residents' ecological footprint to within the earthshare a reduction of 66% on their current ecological footprint would be required.

Also see Personal Lifestyles, Personal Footprints in the Ecological Footprint report.