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Austria's CO2 responsibility and the carbon content of its international trade

Pablo Muñoz and Karl Steininger ()

Ecological Economics, 2010, vol. 69, issue 10, 2003-2019

Abstract: Seeking to limit global warming to 2 °C puts narrow restrictions on the remaining carbon budget. While the prevalent accounting framework for carbon emissions is production based (Production-Based Principle, PBP), we here quantify the CO2 emissions on the basis of the Consumption-Based Principle (CBP) for Austria. At a methodological level, a Multi-Regional Input-Output model with full linkages is used to account for Austria's CO2 responsibility on a global scale. Estimates are carried out for the years 1997 and 2004. Results show that during 1997 CO2 responsibility based on CBP were 36% larger than those based on PBP. This relation has increased through time. The CBP indicator of 2004 was 44% larger than the PBP. In terms of carbon emission location, for each Euro spent on Austrian final demand in 2004, it is estimated that two-thirds of the CO2 emissions occur outside Austrian borders. Regarding the origin of the emissions embodied in imports, it is estimated that about one-fourth originated in non-Annex I countries in 1997. This proportion increased to one-third by 2004. Due to this divergence between CBP and PBP indicators, there is a need to re-think current accounting bases in order to properly assign CO2 responsibilities.

Keywords: Multi-Regional; Input-Output; analysis; Embodied; emissions; Consumption-Based; Principle; Carbon; leakage; Carbon; dioxide; International; trade; Austria (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010
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