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Consumption-based carbon accounting: does it have a future?

Afionis, Stavros, Sakai, Marco, Scott, Kate, Barrett, John and Gouldson, Andy 2017. Consumption-based carbon accounting: does it have a future? Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change 8 (1) , e438. 10.1002/wcc.438

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Consumption‐based (CB) accounting has so far emerged as the most prominent alternative. This approach accounts for emissions at the point of consumption, attributing all the emissions that occurred in the course of production and distribution to the final consumers of goods and services. This review has a fourfold objective. First, it provides an account of the logic behind attributing responsibility for emissions on the basis of consumption instead of production. Issues of equity and justice, increased emissions coverage, encouragement of cleaner production practices, and political benefits are considered. Second, it discusses the counterarguments, focusing in particular on issues of technical complexity, mitigation effectiveness, and political acceptability. Third, it presents the spectrum of implementation possibilities—ranging from the status quo to more transformative options—and considers the implications for international climate policy that would accrue under various scenarios of adopting CB accounting in practice. Fourth, it looks at how CB accounting may be adjusted to fit with current political realities and it identifies policy mechanisms that could potentially be utilized to directly or indirectly address CB emissions. Such an approach could unlock new opportunities for climate policy innovation and for climate mitigation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Publisher: Royal Meteorological Society
ISSN: 1757-7780
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 November 2019
Date of Acceptance: 19 August 2016
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 19:08

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