In an excellent opinion piece on the BBC site today, an EU policy advisor discussed the downside of the current focus on minimizing carbon emissions alone without taking the bigger picture of our unsustainable consuming lifestyles into consideration.
From the article:
Ultimately, our problem is consumption, and the environment is not the only casualty. The modern Western lifestyle also has an inbuilt dependency on the cheap resources and the low carbon footprint of developing countries, which has compounded global injustice. Worse still, maintaining our relatively wealthy, comfortable and unsustainable lifestyles is now dependant on maintaining this imbalance.
Seventy-five percent of the world's population - more than 4.5bn people - live on just 15% of the world's resources, while we in the West gorge on the remaining 85%. The world simply does not have the resources, renewable or otherwise, to sustain Western lifestyles across the globe.