IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/ecolec/v68y2009i7p2066-2077.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The carbon footprint of UK households 1990-2004: A socio-economically disaggregated, quasi-multi-regional input-output model

Author

Listed:
  • Druckman, Angela
  • Jackson, Tim

Abstract

This paper presents a socio-economically disaggregated framework for attributing CO2 emissions to people's high level functional needs. Based around a quasi-multi-regional input-output (QMRIO) model, the study, in theory, takes into account all CO2 emissions that arise from energy used in production of goods and services to satisfy UK household demand, whether the emissions occur in the UK or abroad. Results show that CO2 emissions attributable to households were 15% above 1990 levels in 2004, and that although absolute decoupling occurred between household expenditure and CO2 during the UK's switch from coal to gas in the early 1990s, since then only slight relative decoupling is evident. The proportion of CO2 that arises outside UK borders in support of UK consumption is rising, and reducing these emissions is particularly problematic in a global trading system. Investigation into the carbon footprint of different segments of the UK population shows wide variation: the segment with the highest carbon footprint emits 64% more CO2 than the segment with the lowest. Results show that recreation and leisure are responsible for over one quarter of CO2 emissions in a typical UK household in 2004. We conclude that expanding lifestyle aspirations are significant factors in driving household CO2 emissions, but the study also emphasizes that attention must be paid to the infrastructures and institutions that result in considerable amounts of CO2 being locked up in basic household activities through which people meet their everyday needs for subsistence, protection, and communication with family and friends. The findings highlight the sheer scale of the challenge facing UK policy-makers, and suggest that policies should be targeted towards segments of society responsible for the highest carbon footprints.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:68:y:2009:i:7:p:2066-2077
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921-8009(09)00036-6
    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. Jackson, Tim & Papathanasopoulou, Eleni, 2008. "Luxury or 'lock-in'? An exploration of unsustainable consumption in the UK: 1968 to 2000," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1-2), pages 80-95, December.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Druckman, A. & Jackson, T., 2008. "Household energy consumption in the UK: A highly geographically and socio-economically disaggregated model," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 3167-3182, August.
    5. Sorrell, Steve & Dimitropoulos, John, 2008. "The rebound effect: Microeconomic definitions, limitations and extensions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 636-649, April.
    6. Druckman, A. & Jackson, T., 2008. "Measuring resource inequalities: The concepts and methodology for an area-based Gini coefficient," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 242-252, April.
    7. Uwe Götze, 2008. "Editorial," Metrika: International Journal for Theoretical and Applied Statistics, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 1-6, May.
    8. Peters, Glen P., 2008. "From production-based to consumption-based national emission inventories," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 13-23, March.
    9. 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.
    10. Dan Vickers & Phil Rees, 2007. "Creating the UK National Statistics 2001 output area classification," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 170(2), pages 379-403, March.
    11. Weber, Christopher L. & Matthews, H. Scott, 2008. "Quantifying the global and distributional aspects of American household carbon footprint," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2-3), pages 379-391, June.
    12. Jackson, Tim & Marks, Nic, 1999. "Consumption, sustainable welfare and human needs--with reference to UK expenditure patterns between 1954 and 1994," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 421-441, March.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. Berkhout, Peter H. G. & Muskens, Jos C. & W. Velthuijsen, Jan, 2000. "Defining the rebound effect," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6-7), pages 425-432, June.
    16. McClements, L. D., 1977. "Equivalence scales for children," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 191-210, October.
    17. 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.
    18. 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.
    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. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Christian Lininger, 2013. "Consumption-Based Approaches in International Climate Policy: An Analytical Evaluation of the Implications for Cost-Effectiveness, Carbon Leakage, and the International Income Distribution," Graz Economics Papers 2013-03, University of Graz, Department of Economics.
    6. Anke Schaffartzik & Dominik Wiedenhofer & Nina Eisenmenger, 2015. "Raw Material Equivalents: The Challenges of Accounting for Sustainability in a Globalized World," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(5), pages 1-26, April.
    7. Serrano, Mònica & Dietzenbacher, Erik, 2010. "Responsibility and trade emission balances: An evaluation of approaches," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(11), pages 2224-2232, September.
    8. 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.
    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. 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.
    11. Banie Naser Outchiri & Jie He, 2020. "Technical gap, trade partners and product mix evolution: how trading with China affects global CO2 emissions," Cahiers de recherche 20-07, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
    12. Maria Csutora & Zs�fia Vetőn� m�zner, 2014. "Proposing a beneficiary-based shared responsibility approach for calculating national carbon accounts during the post-Kyoto era," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(5), pages 599-616, September.
    13. Peters, Glen P., 2008. "From production-based to consumption-based national emission inventories," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 13-23, March.
    14. 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.
    15. Marques, Alexandra & Rodrigues, João & Lenzen, Manfred & Domingos, Tiago, 2012. "Income-based environmental responsibility," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 57-65.
    16. Zhang, Youguo, 2015. "Provincial responsibility for carbon emissions in China under different principles," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 142-153.
    17. Kurt Kratena & Ina Meyer, 2010. "CO2 Emissions Embodied in Austrian International Trade," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 39242, June.
    18. 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.
    19. Levitt, Clinton J. & Pedersen, Morten S. & Sørensen, Anders, 2015. "Examining the efforts of a small, open economy to reduce carbon emissions: The case of Denmark," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 94-106.
    20. Arunima Malik & Jun Lan, 2016. "The role of outsourcing in driving global carbon emissions," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(2), pages 168-182, June.

    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:68:y:2009:i:7:p:2066-2077. 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.