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CARBON AND LAND USE ACCOUNTING FROM A PRODUCER'S AND A cONSUMER'S PERSPECTIVE - AN EMPIRICAL EXAMINATION COVERING THE WORLD

Author

Listed:
  • Harry Wilting
  • Kees Vringer

Abstract

National policies for reducing environmental pressures stemming from emissions and the use of natural resources usually adopt a producer approach, i.e. the legislation refers to pressures occurring within the territorial boundaries of a country. An alternative approach to environmental accounting is the consumer approach, which includes environmental pressures associated with imports for domestic consumption, wherever these pressures occur. The carbon footprint, for example, is such an approach, in which CO2 or greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are considered from a consumer's perspective. The consumer approach may offer new ways for policies to reduce pressures, and therefore it would be interesting to adopt this perspective in national environmental policy-making and international negotiations. To gain insight into the differences between the approaches, this paper discusses the concepts of both, showing the results of an empirical analysis and going into the application of the two different perspectives in (international) environmental policies. Due to international trade, the environmental pressures accounted for in a producer's and a consumer's perspective are usually not the same for a country. This paper presents a worldwide overview, comparing the outcomes for the two approaches with regard to GHG emissions and land use, for 12 world regions. Furthermore, for GHG emissions, a quantitative comparison was made between 87 countries and regions covering the world. Consumption-related GHG emissions and land use per capita were calculated with a full multi-regional input-output (MRIO) model. MRIO analysis is an attractive method for footprint analyses in an international context. The research shows that, for most developed countries, GHG emissions and land use are higher in the consumer approach than in the producer approach. For most developing countries, the opposite is true. Before applying national targets to the consumer approach - for instance, in climate policies - further improvements and standardisation of methodology and data will be necessary.

Suggested Citation

  • Harry Wilting & Kees Vringer, 2009. "CARBON AND LAND USE ACCOUNTING FROM A PRODUCER'S AND A cONSUMER'S PERSPECTIVE - AN EMPIRICAL EXAMINATION COVERING THE WORLD," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(3), pages 291-310.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ecsysr:v:21:y:2009:i:3:p:291-310 DOI: 10.1080/09535310903541736
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rutherford, Thomas F, 1999. "Applied General Equilibrium Modeling with MPSGE as a GAMS Subsystem: An Overview of the Modeling Framework and Syntax," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 14(1-2), pages 1-46, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kyle Knight & Eugene A. Rosa & Juliet B. Schor, 2013. "Reducing growth to achieve environmental sustainability: the role of work hours," Chapters,in: Capitalism on Trial, chapter 12 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Iñaki Arto & Jordi Roca & Mònica Serrano, 2012. "Emisiones territoriales y fuga de emisiones. Análisis del caso español," Revista Iberoamericana de Economía Ecológica, Red Iberoamericana de Economía Ecológica, vol. 18, pages 73-87, Abril.
    3. Fernández-Amador, Octavio & Francois, Joseph F. & Tomberger, Patrick, 2016. "Carbon dioxide emissions and international trade at the turn of the millennium," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 14-26.
    4. Stefan Ederer & Stefan Weingärtner, 2014. "Structural Disparities in Carbon Dioxide Consumption and Trade in the World Economy," WIFO Working Papers 478, WIFO.
    5. 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.
    6. Wiedmann, Thomas & Wilting, Harry C. & Lenzen, Manfred & Lutter, Stephan & Palm, Viveka, 2011. "Quo Vadis MRIO? Methodological, data and institutional requirements for multi-region input-output analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1937-1945, September.
    7. Chen, Z.M. & Chen, G.Q., 2011. "Embodied carbon dioxide emission at supra-national scale: A coalition analysis for G7, BRIC, and the rest of the world," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 2899-2909, May.
    8. Henders, Sabine & Ostwald, Madelene, 2014. "Accounting methods for international land-related leakage and distant deforestation drivers," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 21-28.
    9. Eléonore Fauré & Åsa Svenfelt & Göran Finnveden & Alf Hornborg, 2016. "Four Sustainability Goals in a Swedish Low-Growth/Degrowth Context," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(11), pages 1-18, October.
    10. Ali, Yousaf, 2017. "Carbon, water and land use accounting: Consumption vs production perspectives," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 921-934.
    11. Kyle W. Knight & Juliet B. Schor, 2014. "Economic Growth and Climate Change: A Cross-National Analysis of Territorial and Consumption-Based Carbon Emissions in High-Income Countries," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(6), pages 1-10, June.
    12. Makiko Tsukui & Shigemi Kagawa & Yasushi Kondo, 2015. "Measuring the waste footprint of cities in Japan: an interregional waste input–output analysis," Journal of Economic Structures, Springer;Pan-Pacific Association of Input-Output Studies (PAPAIOS), vol. 4(1), pages 1-24, December.
    13. 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.
    14. Stefan Ederer & Stefan Weingärtner, 2014. "Structural disparities in carbon dioxide consumption and trade in the world economy," WWWforEurope Policy Paper series 16, WWWforEurope.
    15. Bruckner, Martin & Fischer, Günther & Tramberend, Sylvia & Giljum, Stefan, 2015. "Measuring telecouplings in the global land system: A review and comparative evaluation of land footprint accounting methods," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 11-21.

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