A Consumption-Based Approach to Carbon Emission Accounting – Sectoral Differences and Environmental Benefits

Vetőné Mózner, Zsófia (2013) A Consumption-Based Approach to Carbon Emission Accounting – Sectoral Differences and Environmental Benefits. Journal of Cleaner Production (42). pp. 83-95. DOI 10.1016/j.jclepro.2012.10.014

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In recent years there has been growing concern about the emission trade balances of countries. This is due to the fact that countries with an open economy are active players in international trade. Trade is not only a major factor in forging a country’s economic structure, but contributes to the movement of embodied emissions beyond country borders. This issue is especially relevant from the carbon accounting policy and domestic production perspective, as it is known that the production-based principle is employed in the Kyoto agreement. The research described herein was designed to reveal the interdependence of countries on international trade and the corresponding embodied emissions both on national and on sectoral level and to illustrate the significance of the consumption-based emission accounting. It is presented here to what extent a consumption-based accounting would change the present system based on production-based accounting and allocation. The relationship of CO2 emission embodied in exports and embodied in imports is analysed here. International trade can blur the responsibility for the ecological effects of production and consumption and it can lengthen the link between consumption and its consequences. Input-output models are used in the methodology as they provide an appropriate framework for climate change accounting. The analysis comprises an international comparative study of four European countries (Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Hungary) with extended trading activities and carbon emissions. Moving from a production-based approach in climate policy to a consumption-based principle and allocation approach would help to increase the efficiency of emission reductions and would force countries to rethink their trading activities in order to decrease the environmental load of production activities. The results of this study show that it is important to distinguish between the two emission accounting approaches, both on the global and the local level.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Consumption-based Accounting, Input-Output tables, International Trade, Embodied Carbon emissions
Divisions:Faculty of Business Administration > Institute for Environmental Science > Department of Environmental Economics and Technology
Subjects:Environmental economics
International economics
Projects:TÁMOP-4.2.1/B-09/1/KMR-2010-0005 , OTKA 105888
ID Code:1123
Deposited By: Zsófia Vetőné Mózner
Deposited On:27 Feb 2013 12:48
Last Modified:27 Feb 2013 13:36

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