Responsibility and trade emission balances: An evaluation of approaches
This paper compares two concepts to evaluate the international responsibility of a country with respect to its emissions. Using a multi-regional input-output model, we show that the trade emission balance and the responsibility emission balance yield the same result. In practical work, however, a lack of data availability implies that the same technology assumption has been commonly adopted. In that case, also a third alternative exists, which simply evaluates the emissions embodied in the trade balance of the country. This third alternative yields the same results as the other two approaches at the aggregate level. At the level of individual products, however, the results are clearly different and it turns out that the third alternative answers a different question. That is, it is appropriate for measuring the emission content of the products that cross the border. In our empirical application, we consider Spain in 1995 and 2000, distinguishing nine different gases: CO2, CH4, N2O, SF6, HFCs, PFCs, SO2, NOx, and NH3.
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