Consumption-based Accounting and Policies: Opportunities, Barriers and Implementation

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Whereas some countries have been able to reduce emissions at the production level, they have in some cases increased them at the consumption level through imports of carbon embodied in internationally traded goods and services. As a result, for some countries total emissions remain unchanged or have even increased.

Therefore, it is necessary to account for emissions occurring through consumption and explore policies for addressing such emissions. In addition, consumption-oriented policies can more directly address consumption as a driver of rising emissions through a wider range of mitigation options in the value chain and at the point of final consumption.

Against this background, this workshop explored the role of consumption-based accounting in the context of international climate negotiations, examined potential policy instruments to tackle consumption-related emissions in key sectors, and discussed ways to overcome implementation barriers for consumption-based climate policies. It further explored the effect of the inclusion of consumption on supply chains and trade.

The workshop was organised by the Consortium of the Carbon-Cap project, a research project CS participates and which is funded by the EU Commission. The Consortium is composed of leading experts in climate policy, economics, environmental research, and modelling. It will present main findings and questions resulting from the second year of research into this project.

About the Carbon-Cap project

The Carbon-CAP* project (Carbon emission mitigation by Consumption-based Accounting and Policy), funded by the European Union, addresses the vexed issue of consumption-based carbon accounting and policies. It aims to stimulate an effective climate policy mix – in the EU and internationally – that can address increasing consumption-related emissions in addition to the current focus on production emissions. It combines work on accounting models with cutting-edge policy research. For more information, please visit the Carbon-Cap website.

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