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A small step for emissions accounting, a giant leap for sustainability? Unpacking the debate around the consumption-based emissions accounting method.

Lakatos, Katalin LU (2019) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM02 20191
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
This thesis deals with the problem of outsourced emissions, the situation when the consumption of (predominantly Global North) countries with high carbon efficiency drives emissions in (predominantly Global South) countries with low carbon efficiency. The EU as a climate leader and an economic superpower subsumes a large share of outsourced emissions. Outsourcing can be measured by the consumption-based account as opposed to the current production-based account. Although the indicator to measure outsourcing is at our disposal, climate policies such as the EU’s do not address it.

I aim to show that the consumption-based account can benefit climate governance. I seek the answer to the question of what the comparative advantages and... (More)
This thesis deals with the problem of outsourced emissions, the situation when the consumption of (predominantly Global North) countries with high carbon efficiency drives emissions in (predominantly Global South) countries with low carbon efficiency. The EU as a climate leader and an economic superpower subsumes a large share of outsourced emissions. Outsourcing can be measured by the consumption-based account as opposed to the current production-based account. Although the indicator to measure outsourcing is at our disposal, climate policies such as the EU’s do not address it.

I aim to show that the consumption-based account can benefit climate governance. I seek the answer to the question of what the comparative advantages and implementation barriers of the consumption-based account are, according to the scholarly debate. I contribute to sustainability science with a systematic literature review to synthesize the arguments from the interdisciplinary debate, from an effectiveness, fairness and political feasibility aspect.

The consumption-based account has many advantages from an effectiveness perspective as well as certain limitations. The literature highlights that its implementation could create a fairer distribution of burdens and that it is feasible to implement it as a target base, although related research is limited. Apart from applying it as a target base, it could be used as a monitoring or instrument base, which determines which advantages and implementation barriers apply, and how those potential barriers might be overcome. However, using it as a monitoring base is already unproblematic according to the scholarly debate. The literature predominantly advocates for the complementary use of the method in climate policies, as multiple accounts can ensure better coverage of issues concerning emissions abatement. Research also establishes that the decoupling of economic growth from emissions should be judged from a consumption-based perspective and that growing consumption needs to be addressed to mitigate climate change effectively. (Less)
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author
Lakatos, Katalin LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM02 20191
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
outsourced emissions, consumption-based accounting, emissions accounting, climate governance, sustainability science
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2019:017
language
English
id
8980513
date added to LUP
2019-06-10 10:45:04
date last changed
2019-06-10 10:45:04
@misc{8980513,
  abstract     = {This thesis deals with the problem of outsourced emissions, the situation when the consumption of (predominantly Global North) countries with high carbon efficiency drives emissions in (predominantly Global South) countries with low carbon efficiency. The EU as a climate leader and an economic superpower subsumes a large share of outsourced emissions. Outsourcing can be measured by the consumption-based account as opposed to the current production-based account. Although the indicator to measure outsourcing is at our disposal, climate policies such as the EU’s do not address it.

I aim to show that the consumption-based account can benefit climate governance. I seek the answer to the question of what the comparative advantages and implementation barriers of the consumption-based account are, according to the scholarly debate. I contribute to sustainability science with a systematic literature review to synthesize the arguments from the interdisciplinary debate, from an effectiveness, fairness and political feasibility aspect.
 
The consumption-based account has many advantages from an effectiveness perspective as well as certain limitations. The literature highlights that its implementation could create a fairer distribution of burdens and that it is feasible to implement it as a target base, although related research is limited. Apart from applying it as a target base, it could be used as a monitoring or instrument base, which determines which advantages and implementation barriers apply, and how those potential barriers might be overcome. However, using it as a monitoring base is already unproblematic according to the scholarly debate. The literature predominantly advocates for the complementary use of the method in climate policies, as multiple accounts can ensure better coverage of issues concerning emissions abatement. Research also establishes that the decoupling of economic growth from emissions should be judged from a consumption-based perspective and that growing consumption needs to be addressed to mitigate climate change effectively.},
  author       = {Lakatos, Katalin},
  keyword      = {outsourced emissions,consumption-based accounting,emissions accounting,climate governance,sustainability science},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {A small step for emissions accounting, a giant leap for sustainability? Unpacking the debate around the consumption-based emissions accounting method.},
  year         = {2019},
}