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The Life Cycle Environmental Impacts Of Consumption

Author

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  • Edgar Hertwich

Abstract

This paper reviews assessments of environmental impacts arising from consumption, taking into account the production and disposal of goods consumed. Assessments have mostly focused on understanding household consumption, but there is an increasing interest in understanding government consumption, as well as in the treatment of gross capital formation and trade. National economic and environmental accounts are the most frequently used data source for such studies and input-output techniques are usually applied. For many OECD countries and a few developing countries, assessments address only energy or greenhouse gas emissions. Few studies address a broader range of emissions-related environmental impacts. There is a lack of consideration for important pressures on ecosystems such as habitat change and overexploitation of fisheries and forests. In all countries, housing and food are important. In poor countries, public services can contribute substantially, while in rich countries, mobility and the consumption of manufactured goods is important. In rapidly developing economies, investments, especially in infrastructure and buildings, are important causes of environmental pressure as well. Differences in production conditions and pollution intensities across countries are substantial, so explicitly modelling the production of internationally traded goods using multi-regional input-output analysis is necessary to account correctly for the environmental impacts arising from the consumption of imported goods.

Suggested Citation

  • Edgar Hertwich, 2011. "The Life Cycle Environmental Impacts Of Consumption," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(1), pages 27-47.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ecsysr:v:23:y:2011:i:1:p:27-47
    DOI: 10.1080/09535314.2010.536905
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Duarte, Rosa & Mainar, Alfredo & Sánchez-Chóliz, Julio, 2013. "The role of consumption patterns, demand and technological factors on the recent evolution of CO2 emissions in a group of advanced economies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 1-13.
    2. Juan C. Surís-Regueiro & José L. Santiago, 2016. "An Input-Output methodological proposal to quantifying socio economic impacts linked to supply shocks," Working Papers 1603, Universidade de Vigo, Departamento de Economía Aplicada.
    3. Lan, Jun & Malik, Arunima & Lenzen, Manfred & McBain, Darian & Kanemoto, Keiichiro, 2016. "A structural decomposition analysis of global energy footprints," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 436-451.
    4. Yosuke Shigetomi & Keisuke Nansai & Shigemi Kagawa & Susumu Tohno, 2016. "Influence of income difference on carbon and material footprints for critical metals: the case of Japanese households," Journal of Economic Structures, Springer;Pan-Pacific Association of Input-Output Studies (PAPAIOS), vol. 5(1), pages 1-19, December.
    5. Wiedenhofer, Dominik & Lenzen, Manfred & Steinberger, Julia K., 2013. "Energy requirements of consumption: Urban form, climatic and socio-economic factors, rebounds and their policy implications," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 696-707.
    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. Yosuke Shigetomi & Keisuke Nansai & Shigemi Kagawa & Susumu Tohno, 2016. "Influence of income difference on carbon and material footprints for critical metals: the case of Japanese households," Journal of Economic Structures, Springer;Pan-Pacific Association of Input-Output Studies (PAPAIOS), vol. 5(1), pages 1-19, December.
    8. Perobelli, Fernando Salgueiro & Faria, Weslem Rodrigues & Vale, Vinicius de Almeida, 2015. "The increase in Brazilian household income and its impact on CO2 emissions: Evidence for 2003 and 2009 from input–output tables," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(PA), pages 228-239.
    9. Tatiana Olegovna Tagaeva & Alexander Olegovich Baranov & Vadim Manavirovich Gilmundinov, 2016. "Assessment of the Required Changes of Russian Ecological Taxes," International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Econjournals, vol. 6(3), pages 611-616.
    10. Hofmann, Jana & Guan, Dabo & Chalvatzis, Konstantinos & Huo, Hong, 2016. "Assessment of electrical vehicles as a successful driver for reducing CO2 emissions in China," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 184(C), pages 995-1003.
    11. 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.
    12. repec:spr:ieaple:v:17:y:2017:i:6:d:10.1007_s10784-017-9365-x is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Oshita, Yuko, 2012. "Identifying critical supply chain paths that drive changes in CO2 emissions," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 1041-1050.

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