Consumption-Based Emissions Reporting
HC 1646, Twelfth Report of Session 2010-12 - Volume I: Report, Toegther with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence
- House of Commons - Energy and Climate Change Committee
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
Official carbon dioxide (COČ) emissions figures within UK Borders currently report on territorial emissions from power stations and transport, etc, and show almost a 20% reduction between 1990-2009. 'Consumption-Based Emissions Reporting (HC 1646)' identifies that research commissioned for the Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs reveals COČ emissions to be 20% higher in 2009, when considering consumption-based emissions from imported goods.
The fall in territorial emissions was not mainly the consequence of the Government's climate policy. Rather it was the result of the shift in manufacturing industries away from the UK and the switch from coal to gas-fired electricity generation that began in the early 1990s.
Since 1990 COČ emissions from imports have almost doubled to reach 331 million tonnes in 2009. If the UK wishes to encourage emissions reductions in countries that manufacture and export goods to the UK, the Government should recognise the growth in the UK's consumption-based emissions.
Acknowledging that UK consumption is driving up territorial emissions in other countries could increase the UK's leverage over those emissions and help to secure a binding global agreement on carbon cuts. There is sufficiently robust data available to develop new policy options and identify carbon-intensive behaviours that are overlooked by concentrating on territorial emissions alone.
Ministers should explore the options for incorporating consumption-based emissions data in the policy making process and set emissions targets on a consumption-basis at the national level.
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