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A three-perspective view of greenhouse gas emission responsibilities in New Zealand

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  • Andrew, Robbie
  • Forgie, Vicky
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    Abstract

    While responsibility for the environmental impacts of production has been commonly assigned to producers, production is driven by consumer demand, and it is valid to question whether impacts should instead be assigned to consumers. However, in each of these approaches producers and consumers either bear the full burden of responsibility or none at all. An example of this is the Kyoto Protocol, where all greenhouse gas emissions are assigned to the producer and no consideration is given to where goods are finally consumed. Rather than taking the conventional producer or consumer responsibility approach, a third perspective is possible in which responsibility is shared. We use input-output analysis to apply all three of these responsibility perspectives to New Zealand's domestic greenhouse gas emissions. Our main findings from the shared responsibility approach are that New Zealand producers are responsible for 44% of domestic emissions, New Zealand consumers take 28%, and 27% are exported. A shared responsibility approach appears to distribute the burden of responsibility and associated liability between parties more fairly, and is likely to be more widely acceptable than pure producer or consumer perspectives.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 68 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 1-2 (December)
    Pages: 194-204

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:68:y:2008:i:1-2:p:194-204

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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    Keywords: Producer responsibility Consumer responsibility Shared responsibility Contribution analysis Input-output analysis;

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    1. Hubacek, Klaus & Giljum, Stefan, 2003. "Applying physical input-output analysis to estimate land appropriation (ecological footprints) of international trade activities," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 137-151, February.
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    Cited by:
    1. Zhang, Youguo, 2013. "The responsibility for carbon emissions and carbon efficiency at the sectoral level: Evidence from China," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 967-975.
    2. Chen, G.Q. & Zhang, Bo, 2010. "Greenhouse gas emissions in China 2007: Inventory and input-output analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 6180-6193, October.
    3. 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.
    4. Xu, Ming & Li, Ran & Crittenden, John C. & Chen, Yongsheng, 2011. "CO2 emissions embodied in China's exports from 2002 to 2008: A structural decomposition analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(11), pages 7381-7388.
    5. Chen, G. & Chen, B. & Zhou, H. & Dai, P., 2013. "Life cycle carbon emission flow analysis for electricity supply system: A case study of China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1276-1284.
    6. Fitzgerald, Warren B. & Howitt, Oliver J.A. & Smith, Inga J. & Hume, Anthony, 2011. "Energy use of integral refrigerated containers in maritime transportation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 1885-1896, April.
    7. Anderson, Blake & M'Gonigle, Michael, 2012. "Does ecological economics have a future?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 37-48.
    8. Lenzen, Manfred & Murray, Joy, 2010. "Conceptualising environmental responsibility," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 261-270, December.
    9. Kissinger, Meidad & Rees, William E., 2009. "Footprints on the prairies: Degradation and sustainability of Canadian agricultural land in a globalizing world," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(8-9), pages 2309-2315, June.

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