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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
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.:
- 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.
- Babiker, Mustafa H., 2005. "Climate change policy, market structure, and carbon leakage," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 421-445, March.
- Baranzini, Andrea & Goldemberg, Jose & Speck, Stefan, 2000. "A future for carbon taxes," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 395-412, March.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bullard, Clark W. & Herendeen, Robert A., 1975. "The energy cost of goods and services," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 268-278, December.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Aasness, Jorgen & Biorn, Erik & Skjerpen, Terje, 1993. "Engel Functions, Panel Data, and Latent Variables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(6), pages 1395-1422, November.
- Lazarus, Michael & Chandler, Chelsea & Erickson, Peter, 2013. "A core framework and scenario for deep GHG reductions at the city scale," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 563-574.
- Jukka Heinonen & Antti Säynäjoki & Seppo Junnila, 2011. "A Longitudinal Study on the Carbon Emissions of a New Residential Development," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(8), pages 1170-1189, August.
- Wiedmann, Thomas, 2009. "A review of recent multi-region input-output models used for consumption-based emission and resource accounting," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 211-222, December.
- Büchs, Milena & Schnepf, Sylke V., 2013. "Who emits most? Associations between socio-economic factors and UK households' home energy, transport, indirect and total CO2 emissions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 114-123.
- Druckman, Angela & Jackson, Tim, 2009. "The carbon footprint of UK households 1990-2004: A socio-economically disaggregated, quasi-multi-regional input-output model," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(7), pages 2066-2077, May.
- Jukka Heinonen & Antti-Juhani Säynäjoki & Matti Kuronen & Seppo Junnila, 2012. "Are the Greenhouse Gas Implications of New Residential Developments Understood Wrongly?," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(8), pages 2874-2893, August.
- Misato Sato, 2012. "Embodied carbon in trade: a survey of the empirical literature," Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers 77, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
- Sovacool, Benjamin K. & Brown, Marilyn A., 2010. "Twelve metropolitan carbon footprints: A preliminary comparative global assessment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(9), pages 4856-4869, September.
- Kerkhof, Annemarie C. & Nonhebel, Sanderine & Moll, Henri C., 2009. "Relating the environmental impact of consumption to household expenditures: An input-output analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 1160-1170, February.
- Dong, Huijuan & Geng, Yong & Xi, Fengming & Fujita, Tsuyoshi, 2013. "Carbon footprint evaluation at industrial park level: A hybrid life cycle assessment approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 298-307.
- Richard S.J. Tol & Stephen W. Pacala & Robert Socolow, 2006.
"Understanding Long-Term Energy Use and Carbon Dioxide Emissions in the Usa,"
2006.107, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
- Tol, Richard S.J. & Pacala, Stephen W. & Socolow, Robert H., 2009. "Understanding Long-Term Energy Use and Carbon Dioxide Emissions in the USA," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 425-445, May.
- Richard S.J. Tol & Stephen W. Pacala & Robert H. Socolow, 2006. "Understanding Long-Term Energy Use And Carbon Dioxide Emissions In The Usa," Working Papers FNU-100, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Mar 2006.
- Buchs, Milena & Schnepf, Sylke V., 2013. "UK Households' Carbon Footprint: A Comparison of the Association between Household Characteristics and Emissions from Home Energy, Transport and Other Goods and Services," IZA Discussion Papers 7204, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Shammin, Md. R. & Herendeen, Robert A. & Hanson, Michelle J. & Wilson, Eric J.H., 2010. "A multivariate analysis of the energy intensity of sprawl versus compact living in the U.S. for 2003," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(12), pages 2363-2373, October.
- Jukka Heinonen & Seppo Junnila, 2011. "A Carbon Consumption Comparison of Rural and Urban Lifestyles," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(8), pages 1234-1249, August.
- Golley, Jane & Meng, Xin, 2012. "Income inequality and carbon dioxide emissions: The case of Chinese urban households," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 1864-1872.
- Druckman, Angela & Chitnis, Mona & Sorrell, Steve & Jackson, Tim, 2011. "Missing carbon reductions? Exploring rebound and backfire effects in UK households," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 3572-3581, June.
- Sanna Ala-Mantila & Jukka Heinonen & Seppo Junnila, 2013. "Greenhouse Gas Implications of Urban Sprawl in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(10), pages 4461-4478, October.
- Vringer, Kees & Benders, René & Wilting, Harry & Brink, Corjan & Drissen, Eric & Nijdam, Durk & Hoogervorst, Nico, 2010. "A hybrid multi-region method (HMR) for assessing the environmental impact of private consumption," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(12), pages 2510-2516, October.
- Steinberger, Julia K. & Krausmann, Fridolin & Eisenmenger, Nina, 2010. "Global patterns of materials use: A socioeconomic and geophysical analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(5), pages 1148-1158, March.
- Ferguson, Thomas M. & MacLean, Heather L., 2011. "Trade-linked Canada–United States household environmental impact analysis of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(12), pages 8011-8021.
- Qu, Jiansheng & Zeng, Jingjing & Li, Yan & Wang, Qin & Maraseni, Tek & Zhang, Lihua & Zhang, Zhiqiang & Clarke-Sather, Abigail, 2013. "Household carbon dioxide emissions from peasants and herdsmen in northwestern arid-alpine regions, China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 133-140.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.