Climate change is one of the most important challenges of the 21st Century. As greenhouse gas concentration of the atmosphere has reached the
400ppm threshold of a 2°C global warming on 9 May 2013 and irreversible
tipping points of the climatic system at some point of timehave got even more likely, the question of the individual contribution
to climate change becomes more and more virulent. For a long time, the absorption
capacity of the environment has been regarded as limitless, and based on this
perception, the economic entities used the environment for hundreds of years
without constraints. Today, with progress of scientific knowledge, we are now
aware of the possible negative impacts of climate change to environmental,
economic and social systems on Earth. This awareness, however, did not lead to
a significant change of individual behavior, because the perceived individual
contribution to both the anthropogenic cause of climate change and its
mitigation is still regarded as marginal. To encounter this misperception or “diffusion
of environmental responsibility”, this article presents an alternative
calculation of the individual contribution to climate change taking the incremental
approach to a tipping point or a 2°C global warming threshold into account.
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