Info-graphic motion design
An information-led motion design project completed while studying at the London College of Communication, working from initial research, calculating and comparing the relevant figures, through to creative application of the findings to tell the story the numbers show.
The numbers used in this video come from various sources, but all relate to the year 2016, the most recent year when a comparable set of data could be correlated.
The project brief was wide, anything relating to the environment, sustainability, or climate change. I have a particular interest in the social-economic dimension of world climate change initiatives, and was keen to question the easy assumptions which often go hand in hand with common climate change debate.
It’s well known that national CO2 emissions increase along with economic development. But do high levels of CO2 really indicate high standards of living?
The top seven emitters of CO2 are China, the USA, the EU, India, Russia, Japan and the aviation and international shipping industries. Together these make up 70% of global CO2 emissions.
But the total CO2 emissions level isn’t the only factor we should consider. Much of the CO2 emitted comes from goods produced for export, and when we consider the amount of CO2 produced for local consumption a different story begins to emerge. When we adjust our numbers to reflect the population this consumption level serves, the CO2 per capita figure shows how the simple ‘more is more’ equation really falls apart.
So, what about living standards? How wealthy are these countries which produce so much CO2?
Crucially, there appears to be a distinct correlation between low emissions per capita, and low GDP per capita, and high emissions per capita, and high GPD per capita.
So although China, for example, has a very high national CO2 emissions figure, this amount is distributed across a large and relatively poor population, while in the USA, the lower level of emissions is distributed between far fewer, much wealthier people.
Although it is easy to assert, as the highest CO2 producer ‘China must reduce its emissions’, it would be much easier for people in the USA to initiate meaningful changes as individuals without drastically reducing their standards of living.