Quantifying the global and distributional aspects of American household carbon footprint
AbstractAnalysis of household consumption and its environmental impact remains one of the most important topics in sustainability research. Nevertheless, much past and recent work has focused on domestic national averages, neglecting both the growing importance of international trade on household carbon footprint and the variation between households of different income levels and demographics. Using consumer expenditure surveys and multi-country life cycle assessment techniques, this paper analyzes the global and distributional aspects of American household carbon footprint. We find that due to recently increased international trade, 30% of total US household CO2 impact in 2004 occurred outside the US. Further, households vary considerably in their CO2 responsibilities: at least a factor of ten difference exists between low and high-impact households, with total household income and expenditure being the best predictors of both domestic and international portions of the total CO2 impact. The global location of emissions, which cannot be calculated using standard input-output analysis, and the variation of household impacts with income, have important ramifications for polices designed to lower consumer impacts on climate change, such as carbon taxes. The effectiveness and fairness of such policies hinges on a proper understanding of how income distributions, rebound effects, and international trade affect them.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.
Volume (Year): 66 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (June)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Lenzen, Manfred, 1998. "Primary energy and greenhouse gases embodied in Australian final consumption: an input-output analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 495-506, May.
- Vringer, Kees & Blok, Kornelis, 1995. "The direct and indirect energy requirements of households in the Netherlands," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(10), pages 893-910, October.
- Lenzen, Manfred & Wier, Mette & Cohen, Claude & Hayami, Hitoshi & Pachauri, Shonali & Schaeffer, Roberto, 2006. "A comparative multivariate analysis of household energy requirements in Australia, Brazil, Denmark, India and Japan," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 181-207.
- Kok, Rixt & Benders, Rene M.J. & Moll, Henri C., 2006. "Measuring the environmental load of household consumption using some methods based on input-output energy analysis: A comparison of methods and a discussion of results," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(17), pages 2744-2761, November.
- Aasness, Jorgen & Biorn, Erik & Skjerpen, Terje, 1993. "Engel Functions, Panel Data, and Latent Variables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(6), pages 1395-1422, November.
- Babiker, Mustafa H., 2005. "Climate change policy, market structure, and carbon leakage," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 421-445, March.
- Mette Wier & Manfred Lenzen & Jesper Munksgaard & Sinne Smed, 2001. "Effects of Household Consumption Patterns on CO2 Requirements," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 259-274.
- Bullard, Clark W. & Herendeen, Robert A., 1975. "The energy cost of goods and services," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 268-278, December.
- Herendeen, Robert A. & Ford, Charlotte & Hannon, Bruce, 1981. "Energy cost of living, 1972–1973," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 6(12), pages 1433-1450.
- Kander, Astrid & Lindmark, Magnus, 2006. "Foreign trade and declining pollution in Sweden: a decomposition analysis of long-term structural and technological effects," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(13), pages 1590-1599, September.
- Bin, Shui & Dowlatabadi, Hadi, 2005. "Consumer lifestyle approach to US energy use and the related CO2 emissions," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 197-208, January.
- Wiedmann, Thomas & Lenzen, Manfred & Turner, Karen & Barrett, John, 2007. "Examining the global environmental impact of regional consumption activities -- Part 2: Review of input-output models for the assessment of environmental impacts embodied in trade," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 15-26, February.
- Maenpaa, Ilmo & Siikavirta, Hanne, 2007. "Greenhouse gases embodied in the international trade and final consumption of Finland: An input-output analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 128-143, January.
- Babiker, Mustafa & Reilly, John M. & Jacoby, Henry D., 2000. "The Kyoto Protocol and developing countries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(8), pages 525-536, July.
- Shui, Bin & Harriss, Robert C., 2006. "The role of CO2 embodiment in US-China trade," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(18), pages 4063-4068, December.
- Nadim Ahmad & Andrew Wyckoff, 2003. "Carbon Dioxide Emissions Embodied in International Trade of Goods," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2003/15, OECD Publishing.
- Leontief, Wassily, 1970. "Environmental Repercussions and the Economic Structure: An Input-Output Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 52(3), pages 262-71, August.
- Baranzini, Andrea & Goldemberg, Jose & Speck, Stefan, 2000. "A future for carbon taxes," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 395-412, March.
- Reinders, A. H. M. E. & Vringer, K. & Blok, K., 2003. "The direct and indirect energy requirement of households in the European Union," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 139-153, January.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.