Explore the 1.5°C Living Targets...

8. Pets


Zero large or meat-eating pets e.g. horses, or cats/ dogs on meat diet.

Complying with this target would emit 0.0 tCO2e per capita per year.

One area that is often overlooked is the carbon footprint of pets/ companion animals. We recognise that this is a sensitive area and some may find it difficult to take action, but for others a decision to, for example, not have a pet would be straightforward.

An average cat causes approximately 0.3 tCO2e of emissions per year whilst an average dog causes 0.8 tCO2e of emissions per year (Berners-Lee M (2020: 131–132).

Cats and small dogs on a plant- or insect-based diet (or eating a minimal amount of meat) may reduce emissions to perhaps 0.1-0.3 tCO2e per year but owners should check the animal is receiving sufficient nutrition. Sharing a pet with others would also be a way of reducing the emissions per person.

NB We are not recommending that anybody gives away or abandons their existing pet(s)! The decision point for this option is obviously before obtaining a new pet.


The following academics, scientists and engineers working in climate change have committed to target 8 - pets.

The following members of the public have committed to target 8 - pets.