What is CO2e?

CO2e stands for carbon dioxide equivalent.

A number of different gases are greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide all cause global warming and so are known as greenhouse gases. The gases have differing impacts on global warming – methane, for example, has about 23 times the impact of carbon dioxide. (This is why it is so important to reduce food waste and keep food out of landfill sites because when it rots it produces methane).

CO2e is a way of measuring the emissions of all of the greenhouse gases by telling us what impact the emissions would have if they were all carbon dioxide. For example, if you chose to eat vegan food for 2 days per week, over the course of the year you’d save the equivalent amount of greenhouse gases as 447kg of carbon dioxide, but a large proportion of this saving would come from reducing the amount of methane in the food production (there would be no methane-producing cows making milk).

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