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CARBON AND LAND USE ACCOUNTING FROM A PRODUCER'S AND A cONSUMER'S PERSPECTIVE - AN EMPIRICAL EXAMINATION COVERING THE WORLD

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  • Harry Wilting
  • Kees Vringer
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    Abstract

    National policies for reducing environmental pressures stemming from emissions and the use of natural resources usually adopt a producer approach, i.e. the legislation refers to pressures occurring within the territorial boundaries of a country. An alternative approach to environmental accounting is the consumer approach, which includes environmental pressures associated with imports for domestic consumption, wherever these pressures occur. The carbon footprint, for example, is such an approach, in which CO2 or greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are considered from a consumer's perspective. The consumer approach may offer new ways for policies to reduce pressures, and therefore it would be interesting to adopt this perspective in national environmental policy-making and international negotiations. To gain insight into the differences between the approaches, this paper discusses the concepts of both, showing the results of an empirical analysis and going into the application of the two different perspectives in (international) environmental policies. Due to international trade, the environmental pressures accounted for in a producer's and a consumer's perspective are usually not the same for a country. This paper presents a worldwide overview, comparing the outcomes for the two approaches with regard to GHG emissions and land use, for 12 world regions. Furthermore, for GHG emissions, a quantitative comparison was made between 87 countries and regions covering the world. Consumption-related GHG emissions and land use per capita were calculated with a full multi-regional input-output (MRIO) model. MRIO analysis is an attractive method for footprint analyses in an international context. The research shows that, for most developed countries, GHG emissions and land use are higher in the consumer approach than in the producer approach. For most developing countries, the opposite is true. Before applying national targets to the consumer approach - for instance, in climate policies - further improvements and standardisation of methodology and data will be necessary.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Economic Systems Research.

    Volume (Year): 21 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 291-310

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:ecsysr:v:21:y:2009:i:3:p:291-310

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    Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/CESR20

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    Related research

    Keywords: Footprint analysis; Multi-region input-output analysis; Environmental accounting; Environmental policy; Responsibility;

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    Cited by:
    1. Iñaki Arto & Jordi Roca & Mònica Serrano, 2012. "Emisiones territoriales y fuga de emisiones. Análisis del caso español," Revista Iberoamericana de Economía Ecológica, Red Iberoamericana de Economía Ecológica, vol. 18, pages 73-87, Abril.
    2. Kyle W. Knight & Juliet B. Schor, 2014. "Economic Growth and Climate Change: A Cross-National Analysis of Territorial and Consumption-Based Carbon Emissions in High-Income Countries," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(6), pages 3722-3731, June.
    3. Henders, Sabine & Ostwald, Madelene, 2014. "Accounting methods for international land-related leakage and distant deforestation drivers," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 21-28.
    4. Chen, Z.M. & Chen, G.Q., 2011. "Embodied carbon dioxide emission at supra-national scale: A coalition analysis for G7, BRIC, and the rest of the world," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 2899-2909, May.
    5. Wiedmann, Thomas & Wilting, Harry C. & Lenzen, Manfred & Lutter, Stephan & Palm, Viveka, 2011. "Quo Vadis MRIO? Methodological, data and institutional requirements for multi-region input-output analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1937-1945, September.

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