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Cooling consumerism could save the climate

Cooling consumerism could save the climate

Bill Kingdom says the battle against Covid provides lessons in how to cut consumption to ease global warming. Plus letters from Sue Dalley, David Hughes and Dave Hunter

In Adam Tooze’s article (By pushing for more oil production, the US is killing its climate pledges, 13 August), he surmised that economic activity and fossil fuel consumption are hardwired together. It may be more that economic activity and energy consumption are hardwired together – and thus the need to move to renewables or low-carbon energy sources. That must be part of the strategy, along with as yet unavailable technical solutions such as carbon capture.

However, we seem to tiptoe around the consumption part of any strategy. Lower consumption results in lower carbon emissions. The government has managed to exert strong influence over personal actions during the Covid pandemic using a myriad of three-word slogans. We need a similar push linked to consumption and climate change. Bill Kingdom

Larry Elliott writes that China is responsible for 28% of global greenhouse gas emissions, with Britain, France and Italy each accounting for about 1% (Fairness will be key to successfully tackling the climate crisis, Journal, 12 August). A quick consideration of consumables in my home reveals the astounding number branded “Made in China”, from toothbrush and toothpaste via my morning radio to the fridge from which I take my breakfast yoghurt. This suggests to me a rather different allocation of responsibility; it is time to engage in the urgent political review of just how we in the west must change our addiction to cheap mass consumption and take action to assist China and India in reducing emissions. Sue Dalley
Malvern, Worcestershire

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