The biggest impact comes from electricity used to power the microwaves, but study also highlights rising environmental cost of our throwaway culture
Popping frozen peas into the microwave for a couple of minutes may seem utterly harmless, but Europe’s stock of these quick-cook ovens emit as much carbon as nearly 7m cars, a new study has found.
And the problem is growing: with costs falling and kitchen appliances becoming “status” items, owners are throwing away microwaves after an average of eight years, pushing rising sales.
Transport overtook power generation for climate-warming emissions in 2017 but the Trump administration is reversing curbs on auto industry pollution
Some of the most common avatars of climate change – hulking power stations and billowing smokestacks – may need a slight update. For the first time in more than 40 years, the largest source of greenhouse gas pollution in the US isn’t electricity production but transport – cars, trucks, planes, trains and shipping.
Related: Fightback begins over Trump’s ‘illegal and irresponsible’ clean power repeal