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Austria's CO2 responsibility and the carbon content of its international trade

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  • Muñoz, Pablo
  • Steininger, Karl W.

Abstract

Seeking to limit global warming to 2 °C puts narrow restrictions on the remaining carbon budget. While the prevalent accounting framework for carbon emissions is production based (Production-Based Principle, PBP), we here quantify the CO2 emissions on the basis of the Consumption-Based Principle (CBP) for Austria. At a methodological level, a Multi-Regional Input-Output model with full linkages is used to account for Austria's CO2 responsibility on a global scale. Estimates are carried out for the years 1997 and 2004. Results show that during 1997 CO2 responsibility based on CBP were 36% larger than those based on PBP. This relation has increased through time. The CBP indicator of 2004 was 44% larger than the PBP. In terms of carbon emission location, for each Euro spent on Austrian final demand in 2004, it is estimated that two-thirds of the CO2 emissions occur outside Austrian borders. Regarding the origin of the emissions embodied in imports, it is estimated that about one-fourth originated in non-Annex I countries in 1997. This proportion increased to one-third by 2004. Due to this divergence between CBP and PBP indicators, there is a need to re-think current accounting bases in order to properly assign CO2 responsibilities.

Suggested Citation

  • Muñoz, Pablo & Steininger, Karl W., 2010. "Austria's CO2 responsibility and the carbon content of its international trade," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(10), pages 2003-2019, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:10:p:2003-2019
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