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Last update: June 2011
Production-based and consumption-based CO2 emissions for selected countries (2005)
Efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, such as the Kyoto Protocol, will be less effective in reducing global emissions of GHG if countries with emission commitments relocate their carbon-intensive production activities to countries without such commitments, particularly if production in the latter countries is GHG-intensive. The OECD’s input-output tables
, bilateral trade in goods and services statistics and IEA's energy statistics (e.g. fuel-combustion-based CO2
and international electricity transfer), together with other industry statistics, can be used to estimate the effects of international transfers of CO2
emissions. The simulation results highlight differences among countries in production-based emissions and consumption-based emissions.
Consumption-based CO2 emissions of OECD countries were, on average, about 16% higher in 2005 than conventional measures of production-based emissions suggest. The divergence exceeds 30% in seven OECD countries (Austria, France, Luxembourg, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom). As expected, the magnitude of the differences increased in the late 1990s as trade in goods and services increased.
The emissions structure of countries varies owing to differences in consumption activities, sources of electricity generation and the carbon intensity of imported goods. Electricity-sourced emissions are relatively high in emerging economies (e.g. China and India), whereas emissions due to transport activity and consumption of imported goods are relatively high in developed OECD economies (e.g. Japan and Germany).
Growth of trade-adjusted consumption-based CO2 emissions has not fallen in line with domestic CO2 emissions in OECD countries, partly reflecting the increased global sourcing of emissions-intensive activity from non-OECD countries. While less than half of the global increase in CO2 emissions during the second half of the 1990s came directly from OECD economies, two-thirds of the global increase was attributable to OECD consumption. By the mid-2000s, the regional contributions to increasing emissions had shifted so that about 12% of the global increase in CO2 emissions between 2000 and 2005 came directly from OECD economies with a quarter attributable to OECD consumption.
Biggest net CO2 importers and net CO2 exporters (2005)
Sources: IEA CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion, 2010; OECD, Input-Output Data base, May 2011.
Note: If the consumption-based figure is larger than production-based CO2, the country is net CO2 importer.
Emission sources by final expenditure
These diagrams measure two dimensions of CO2 emissions: the consumption category and the source of CO2 emissions. Final expenditures of household, government and industry (vertical axis) are separated by durable products, petroleum products and other non-durable goods, utilities, commercial services and non-commercial services. CO2 emissions embodied in their consumption result from four sources: electricity, non-electricity production, direct combustion of fossil fuels by households and emissions embodied in imported products.
Transactions within the international production network and imports and exports of final goods and services can be estimated by using an inter-country economic model based on multi-regional input-output (MRIO) modelling techniques . In order to achieve this, national Input-Output tables are first converted to a common currency (nominal USD) and the import matrices are disaggregated to separate bilateral flows of goods and services. A range of adjustments to deal with measurement issues such as re-exports; unspecified partners and commodities; and missing data, particularly for trade in services, are necessary before the analysis.
The consumption-based emissions of target country j’s resident are calculated as:
The production-based emissions of target country j’s resident are calculated as:
where hji is emission factor of final consumption of the products of country j’s sector i (hji=θji+φji), eji is industrial emissions intensity of country j’s sector i (eji=εji+ρji+σji), R is number of countries, B is Leontief inverse, N is number of sector and F1ji is final expenditure by country j for the country 1’s product of sector i.
The complete methodology can be found here: CO2 Emissions Methodology Formula
- Nakano et al. (2009), "The Measurement of CO2 Embodiments in International Trade: Evidence from the Harmonised Input-Output and Bilateral Trade Database", OECD STI Working Paper 2009/3
- Measuring Progress Towards Green Growth: OECD Indicators [C(2011)30]