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Island regions are at
a heightened level of vulnerability to climate change impacts and recently a
great degree of political attention has been given to planning low-carbon
economic strategies for Small Island Developing States (SIDS). To develop
useful mitigation strategies, an understanding of greenhouse gas emissions
currently attributable to various social sectors is necessary. We use
consumption-based life cycle accounting techniques to assess the carbon footprint
of typical households within the US Virgin Islands. We find the average carbon
footprint in the territory to be 13 tCO2e per year per capita,
roughly 35% less than the average US per capita footprint. Also, electricity
and food are much larger contributors to total footprint than in the US.
Results highlight scope for behavioral and technological changes that could
significantly reduce the footprint. The model has been developed into an open
access online tool for educational purposes.