IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/ecolec/v66y2008i4p594-604.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Measuring progress towards carbon reduction in the UK

Author

Listed:
  • Druckman, A.
  • Bradley, P.
  • Papathanasopoulou, E.
  • Jackson, T.

Abstract

The UK Climate Change Bill proposes to establish legally binding targets for a 60% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. This paper discusses the challenges posed by measuring progress towards this target. It takes as a premise that the conventional production-based accounting framework, enshrined in the UNFCCC emissions accounting guidelines, is inappropriate for this task because it fails to account for the carbon 'traded' across the UK national boundary. Accordingly, it sets out a consumption-based accounting framework - using a two-region Environmental Input-Output (EIO) model - which could in principle measure progress in reducing the emissions attributable to final consumers in the UK. It illustrates the use of this framework to measure the reduction in carbon dioxide achieved by the UK between 1990 (the Kyoto base year) and the year 2004 and compares this against the production perspective. The results indicate that any progress towards the UK's carbon reduction targets (visible under a production perspective) disappears completely when viewed from a consumption perspective. But the robustness of this conclusion depends critically on the accuracy of underlying economic and environmental datasets as well as specific assumptions concerning imports. By analysing the consistency of UK Input-Output data, we conclude that EIO is still some way from being able to answer the critical question of the carbon trade balance for the UK. In these circumstances, measuring real progress towards carbon reduction in the UK remains elusive.

Suggested Citation

  • Druckman, A. & Bradley, P. & Papathanasopoulou, E. & Jackson, T., 2008. "Measuring progress towards carbon reduction in the UK," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(4), pages 594-604, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:66:y:2008:i:4:p:594-604
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921-8009(07)00520-4
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Randall Jackson & Alan Murray, 2004. "Alternative Input-Output Matrix Updating Formulations," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 135-148.
    2. Glen P. Peters & Edgar G. Hertwich, 2006. "The Importance of Imports for Household Environmental Impacts," Journal of Industrial Ecology, Yale University, vol. 10(3), pages 89-109, July.
    3. Munksgaard, Jesper & Pedersen, Klaus Alsted, 2001. "CO2 accounts for open economies: producer or consumer responsibility?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 327-334, March.
    4. Machado, Giovani & Schaeffer, Roberto & Worrell, Ernst, 2001. "Energy and carbon embodied in the international trade of Brazil: an input-output approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 409-424, December.
    5. Wiedmann, Thomas & Minx, Jan & Barrett, John & Wackernagel, Mathis, 2006. "Allocating ecological footprints to final consumption categories with input-output analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 28-48, January.
    6. Arnold Tukker & Bart Jansen, 2006. "Environmental Impacts of Products: A Detailed Review of Studies," Journal of Industrial Ecology, Yale University, vol. 10(3), pages 159-182, July.
    7. 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.
    8. Michael Lahr & Louis de Mesnard, 2004. "Biproportional Techniques in Input-Output Analysis: Table Updating and Structural Analysis," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 115-134.
    9. Durk S. Nijdam & Harry C. Wilting & Mark J. Goedkoop & Jacob Madsen, 2005. "Environmental Load from Dutch Private Consumption: How Much Damage Takes Place Abroad?," Journal of Industrial Ecology, Yale University, vol. 9(1‐2), pages 147-168, January.
    10. Arnold Tukker & Peter Eder & Sangwon Suh, 2006. "Environmental Impacts of Products:Policy Relevant Information and Data Challenges," Journal of Industrial Ecology, Yale University, vol. 10(3), pages 183-198, July.
    11. 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.
    12. Bastianoni, Simone & Pulselli, Federico Maria & Tiezzi, Enzo, 2004. "The problem of assigning responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 253-257, July.
    13. Angela Druckman & T. Jackson & E. Papathanasopoulou & P. Bradley, 2000. "Attributing Carbon Emissions to Functional Household Needs: a Pilot Framework For the UK," Regional and Urban Modeling 283600026, EcoMod.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Wiedmann, Thomas, 2009. "A first empirical comparison of energy Footprints embodied in trade -- MRIO versus PLUM," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(7), pages 1975-1990, May.
    2. 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.
    3. Serrano, Mònica & Dietzenbacher, Erik, 2010. "Responsibility and trade emission balances: An evaluation of approaches," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(11), pages 2224-2232, September.
    4. Cristiano Cantore & Miguel León-Ledesma & Peter McAdam & Alpo Willman, 2014. "Shocking Stuff: Technology, Hours, And Factor Substitution," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 108-128, February.
    5. Turner, Karen & Lenzen, Manfred & Wiedmann, Thomas & Barrett, John, 2007. "Examining the global environmental impact of regional consumption activities -- Part 1: A technical note on combining input-output and ecological footprint analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 37-44, April.
    6. Li, You & Hewitt, C.N., 2008. "The effect of trade between China and the UK on national and global carbon dioxide emissions," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1907-1914, June.
    7. Moran, Daniel D. & Wackernagel, Mathis C. & Kitzes, Justin A. & Heumann, Benjamin W. & Phan, Doantam & Goldfinger, Steven H., 2009. "Trading spaces: Calculating embodied Ecological Footprints in international trade using a Product Land Use Matrix (PLUM)," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(7), pages 1938-1951, May.
    8. Guo, Ju’e & Zhang, Zengkai & Meng, Lei, 2012. "China’s provincial CO2 emissions embodied in international and interprovincial trade," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 486-497.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. Lin, Boqiang & Sun, Chuanwang, 2010. "Evaluating carbon dioxide emissions in international trade of China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 613-621, January.
    12. Cadarso, María-Ángeles & López, Luis-Antonio & Gómez, Nuria & Tobarra, María-Ángeles, 2010. "CO2 emissions of international freight transport and offshoring: Measurement and allocation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(8), pages 1682-1694, June.
    13. 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.
    14. Boya Zhang & Shukuan Bai & Yadong Ning & Tao Ding & Yan Zhang, 2020. "Emission Embodied in International Trade and Its Responsibility from the Perspective of Global Value Chain: Progress, Trends, and Challenges," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(8), pages 1-26, April.
    15. Misato Sato, 2014. "Embodied Carbon In Trade: A Survey Of The Empirical Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(5), pages 831-861, December.
    16. Cadarso, María-Ángeles & López, Luis-Antonio & Gómez, Nuria & Tobarra, María-Ángeles, 2012. "International trade and shared environmental responsibility by sector. An application to the Spanish economy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 221-235.
    17. Youguo Zhang, 2012. "Scale, Technique and Composition Effects in Trade-Related Carbon Emissions in China," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 51(3), pages 371-389, March.
    18. 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.
    19. Zhu, Yongbin & Shi, Yajuan & Wu, Jing & Wu, Leying & Xiong, Wen, 2018. "Exploring the Characteristics of CO2 Emissions Embodied in International Trade and the Fair Share of Responsibility," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 574-587.
    20. 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.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:66:y:2008:i:4:p:594-604. See general 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: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.