‘60-20 emission’—The unequal distribution of greenhouse gas emissions from personal, non-business travel in the UK

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, mode - car, ridership - behaviour


travel behaviour, CO2, greenhouse gases, emissions distribution, air travel, car travel


Relatively little is known about the composition of greenhouse gas emissions from personal, non-business travel at the disaggregate levels. This paper aims to give insights into the distribution of emissions amongst the UK population. When including non-carbon climate effects air travel dominates overall greenhouse gas emissions. There is a huge range in emissions, with the highest 20% of emitters producing 61% of emissions. This ‘60-20 emission’ rule is surprisingly similar across units and scale of the analysis. Disaggregated data tell a different story than aggregated data. While income, working status, age and car ownership are significantly related to overall emissions, factors related to accessibility, household location and gender are not.


Permission to publish abstract given by Elsevier. Copyright remains with Elsevier.


Transport Policy Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/0967070X