Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Seminar at Crawford School: Astrid Kander - A Better Way to Assign Responsibility for Carbon Emissions

Astrid Kander will be visiting ANU for a couple of weeks next month and giving a seminar on the 22nd October. We are collaborating on my ARC project on energy transitions. Full details are at this link.

This presentation will highlight one drawback of the currently very popular consumption based emission estimates for assessing the impact of international trade on carbon dioxide emissions in individual countries. The MRIO (multi regional input-output) method and the SRIO (single regional input-output) method with actual technologies are similar in that they aim at allocating all global CO2 emissions to the country of consumption of the commodities rather than to the producer country. However, both methods have one severe drawback when they are used for assessing responsibility for global emissions; i.e., they neglect the NEGA-emissions, which are the saved emissions in developing countries due to importing goods produced using cleaner technologies in developed countries.

If the amount of CO2 emissions of a country’s consumption, adjusted for international trade, is the key question, then the appropriate method should be the MRIO method (or the SRIO with actual technologies), adjusted for the NEGA-emissions possibly incurred. It is suggested that this revised method could also result in all countries’ emissions summing up to actual global emissions. This new way of measuring responsibility would increase the legitimacy of the calculations as a measure of responsibility for emissions because both the consumption levels and patterns and the production technologies and energy systems of all nations would be taken into account.

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