Urban gradient, climate attitudes and consumption-based carbon footprints - trends in the Nordics.

Activity: Talk or presentation typesConference presentation


To meet the climate mitigation goals laid out by international governing bodies and organizations, emission reductions from both public and private sector are necessary. Individual residents represent a substantial portion of the private sector end-use emissions and thus studying their consumption patterns in diverse residential environments has been the focus point of numerous carbon footprint studies to date. However, the role of underlying attitudes guiding these behaviours has been scarcely researched so far. To address this knowledge gap, a monetary consumption-, climate attitude- and climate action survey was published online, and responses collected from all of the Nordic countries. Our initial results indicate that residents of urban areas express a higher participation rate in actions reducing their carbon footprint as well as higher climate-related motivation guiding them. However, while the efficient urban infrastructure seems to lead to lower emissions in the housing and mobility-sections of their footprints, the higher incomes and opportunities for consumption associated with urbanization lead to pronounced good and services-related footprints compared to rural residents. Thus, despite expressing an overall higher participation rate in carbon footprint reducing activities it would seem that the lower consumption-based carbon footprints of urban residents are more so attributable to the passive, indirect impacts of urbanization rather than active conscious effort by the individual consumer.
Period12 Oct 2022
Event titleStrategic Research - Scientific Conference: A fair, just and sustainable society
Event typeConference
LocationHelsinki, FinlandShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • carbon emissions
  • climate attitudes
  • consumption-based accounting
  • climate change mitigation
  • urban economy