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How responsible is a region for its carbon emissions? An empirical general equilibrium analysis


  • Turner, Karen
  • Munday, Max
  • McGregor, Peter
  • Swales, Kim


CO2 reduction targets tend to be set in terms of the amount of pollution emitted within a given region. However, there is increasing public and policy interest in the notion of a carbon footprint, or CO2 generated globally to serve final consumption demand within a region. This raises an issue in that, despite the local economic benefits, the latter involves effectively absolving the region of responsibility for CO2 generated in the production of exports. Using a CGE model of Wales, we illustrate by simulating an increase in export demand for the output of an industry (metal production) that is both carbon and export intensive and generally produces to meet intermediate rather than final demands. The key result is economic growth accompanied by a widening gap between regional CO2 generation and the carbon footprint, raising questions as to the identification of precisely ‘whose’ carbon footprint these additional emissions should be allocated to.

Suggested Citation

  • Turner, Karen & Munday, Max & McGregor, Peter & Swales, Kim, 2012. "How responsible is a region for its carbon emissions? An empirical general equilibrium analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 70-78.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:76:y:2012:i:c:p:70-78
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2012.02.001

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Court, Christa D. & Munday, Max & Roberts, Annette & Turner, Karen, 2015. "Can hazardous waste supply chain ‘hotspots’ be identified using an input–output framework?," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 241(1), pages 177-187.
    2. May, Nils G. & Nilsen, Øivind Anti, 2015. "The Local Economic Impact of Wind Power Deployment," IZA Discussion Papers 9025, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Li, Wei & Jia, Zhijie, 2016. "The impact of emission trading scheme and the ratio of free quota: A dynamic recursive CGE model in China," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 174(C), pages 1-14.
    4. repec:eee:touman:v:65:y:2018:i:c:p:1-13 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Ignacio Cazcarro & Rosa Duarte & Julio Sánchez Chóliz & Cristina Sarasa & Ana Serrano, 2016. "Modelling regional policy scenarios in the agri-food sector: a case study of a Spanish region," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(16), pages 1463-1480, April.
    6. Duarte, Rosa & Feng, Kuishuang & Hubacek, Klaus & Sánchez-Chóliz, Julio & Sarasa, Cristina & Sun, Laixiang, 2016. "Modeling the carbon consequences of pro-environmental consumer behavior," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 184(C), pages 1207-1216.
    7. repec:eee:touman:v:45:y:2014:i:c:p:16-27 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:spr:masfgc:v:22:y:2017:i:6:d:10.1007_s11027-016-9710-3 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Computable general equilibrium modelling; Input–output accounting; CO2 targets; Carbon footprints; Environmental responsibility;

    JEL classification:

    • D57 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Input-Output Tables and Analysis
    • D58 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • O44 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Environment and Growth
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth


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