Here are some highlights from Wikipedia on what it tries to accomplish:
The 2000-watt society (2,000-Watt Society) is a vision, originated by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich at the end of 1998, in which each person in the developed world would cut their over-all rate of energy use to an average of no more than 2,000 watts (i.e. 17,520 kilowatt-hours per year of all energy use, not only electrical) by the year 2050, without lowering their standard of living.
Two thousand watts is approximately the current world average rate of total energy use. This compares to averages of around 6,000 watts in western Europe, 12,000 watts in the United States, 1500 watts in China, 1000 watts in India, and only 300 watts in Bangladesh. Switzerland itself, currently using an average of around 5,000 watts, was last a 2000-watt society in the 1960s.
Here's what consumption could be for you:
Breakdown of average energy consumption of 5.1 kW by a Swiss person as of July 2008:
- 1500 watts for living and office space (this includes heat and hot water)
- 1100 watts for food and consumer discretionary (including transportation of these to the point of sale)
- 600 watts for electricity
- 500 watts for automobile travel
- 250 watts for air travel
- 150 watts for public transportation
- 900 watts for public infrastructure
I find this fascinating since it is a very bold step.
If we truly want to reverse CO2 production this type of initiative is what we will need.
The problem is that Switzerland, although a tremendous(and exceptionally beautiful) country is a bit insular and small and very democratic so it may be easier to apply these standards to this country than to say Brazil, the US, China, India and other large polluters.
But if Switzerland can shoot for 2000 maybe others ie the US could shoot for 2500 or 3000. Still less than the 12,ooo it says we currently use. Which seems a bit embarrassing it is so much larger than others.