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Emissions from consumption outstrip efficiency savings
Date:10/26/2010

Emissions from consumption growth have exceeded carbon savings from efficiency improvements in the global supply chain of products consumed in the UK, according to new research by Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) at the University of York and the University of Durham.

Carbon dioxide emissions from UK consumption grew by 217 Million tonnes(Mt) of carbon dioxide from increased spending between 1992 and 2004 while cuts from more efficient production only led to reductions of 148 Mt leaving a net growth of 69 Mt of carbon dioxide .

In previous research, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and partners found that while territorial CO2 emissions in the UK decreased between 1992 and 2004, consumer CO2 emissions kept growing. Consumer emissions include CO2 released in the UK and the rest of the world for producing the goods and services demanded by UK consumers.

The report published today by DEFRA continues this research by analysing the determinants of CO2 emission growth from consumption distinguishing a series of technological factors such as CO2 intensity, energy mix or production structure and socio-economic factors such as consumer spending, household or population size.

Keeping everything else constant, UK consumer emissions grew by 48.5 per cent from increased consumption over this period. During the same period a 27 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions throughout the world resulting from less carbon intensive production processes, another two per cent fall due to the greening of the global supply and another six per cent fall as a result of a less carbon intensive consumption basket were not sufficient to offset the CO2 emission increases.

The novelty of the research is that the authors undertake the analysis using a global production model based on multi-regional multi-sector input-output framework. By doing so the authors are able t
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Contact: David Garner
david.garner@york.ac.uk
44-190-432-2153
University of York
Source:Eurekalert

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