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

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Abstract

Targets for CO2 reduction tend to be set in terms of the amount of pollution generated within the borders of a given region or nation. That is, under a "production accounting principle". However, in recent years there has been increased public and policy interest in the notion of a carbon footprint, or the amount of pollution generated globally to serve final consumption demand within a region or nation. That is, switching focus to a "consumption accounting principle". However, this paper argues that a potential issue arising from the increasing focus on consumption-based "carbon footprint" type measures is that while regional CO2 generation embodied in export production is attributed outside of the region (i.e. to the carbon footprints of other regions/nations), regional consumers are likely to benefit from such production. Moreover, where there is a geographical and supply chain gap between producers and final consumers, it may be difficult to identify precisely „whose‟ carbon footprint emissions should be allocated to.
LanguageEnglish
Pages70–78
Number of pages9
JournalEcological Economics
Volume79
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

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general equilibrium analysis
carbon footprint
carbon emission
pollution
General equilibrium analysis
Carbon emissions
Carbon footprint
consumption

Keywords

  • ecological economics
  • carbon footprint
  • production accounting principle

Cite this

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title = "How responsible is a region for its carbon emissions? An empirical general equilibrium analysis",
abstract = "Targets for CO2 reduction tend to be set in terms of the amount of pollution generated within the borders of a given region or nation. That is, under a {"}production accounting principle{"}. However, in recent years there has been increased public and policy interest in the notion of a carbon footprint, or the amount of pollution generated globally to serve final consumption demand within a region or nation. That is, switching focus to a {"}consumption accounting principle{"}. However, this paper argues that a potential issue arising from the increasing focus on consumption-based {"}carbon footprint{"} type measures is that while regional CO2 generation embodied in export production is attributed outside of the region (i.e. to the carbon footprints of other regions/nations), regional consumers are likely to benefit from such production. Moreover, where there is a geographical and supply chain gap between producers and final consumers, it may be difficult to identify precisely „whose‟ carbon footprint emissions should be allocated to.",
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AU - Munday, Max

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AU - Swales, John

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AB - Targets for CO2 reduction tend to be set in terms of the amount of pollution generated within the borders of a given region or nation. That is, under a "production accounting principle". However, in recent years there has been increased public and policy interest in the notion of a carbon footprint, or the amount of pollution generated globally to serve final consumption demand within a region or nation. That is, switching focus to a "consumption accounting principle". However, this paper argues that a potential issue arising from the increasing focus on consumption-based "carbon footprint" type measures is that while regional CO2 generation embodied in export production is attributed outside of the region (i.e. to the carbon footprints of other regions/nations), regional consumers are likely to benefit from such production. Moreover, where there is a geographical and supply chain gap between producers and final consumers, it may be difficult to identify precisely „whose‟ carbon footprint emissions should be allocated to.

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