Consumption-Based Accounting of CO2 Emissions in the Sustainable Development Goals Agenda

10 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2018

See all articles by Viktoria Spaiser

Viktoria Spaiser

University of Leeds

Kate Scott

University of Manchester

Anne Owen

University of Leeds

Robert Holland

University of Southampton

Date Written: August 30, 2018

Abstract

In 2017 the paper "The Sustainable Development Oxymoron: Quantifying and Modelling the Incompatibility of Sustainable Development Goals" (Spaiser et al. 2017) was published, showing that there is a conflict between socio-economic development goals and ecological sustainability goals using cross-country time-series data. The authors looked at production-based CO2 emissions to measure and model the 13th SDG goal addressing climate change. Their models showed that production-based CO2 emissions were stalling or even decreasing in rich countries, which suggests that other countries are also likely to see stalling and decrease in their CO2 emissions once they become rich. However, this conclusion can be challenged when accounting for consumption-based CO2 emissions rather than production-based CO2 emissions. In this follow-up paper, we re-run some of the analyses performed in the original paper making use of consumption-based CO2 emissions. The analysis confi rms the inherent SDG conflict between socio-economic and ecological SDGs. But, this new analysis demonstrates that from a consumption perspective the trend of stalling of decreasing CO2 emissions is reversed, with natural depletion costs being exported to poorer countries. Despite this new perspective on CO2 emissions, the conflict between SDG goals can still be avoided by making investments in public health, education and renewable energy, as suggested in the original paper.

Keywords: Sustainable Development Goals, consumption-based CO2 emissions, production-based CO2 emissions, climate change, dynamical systems modeling, feature selection

JEL Classification: C1,C32,C33,C55,I18,I28,I3,O1,O11,O44,Q2,Q3,Q5,Q54,Q56,Q58

Suggested Citation

Spaiser, Viktoria and Scott, Kate and Owen, Anne and Holland, Robert, Consumption-Based Accounting of CO2 Emissions in the Sustainable Development Goals Agenda (August 30, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3241274

Viktoria Spaiser (Contact Author)

University of Leeds ( email )

Social Science Building
Woodhouse Lane
Leeds, LS2 9JT
United Kingdom
0044 7470 122518 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.viktoriaspaiser.com

Kate Scott

University of Manchester ( email )

Oxford Road
Manchester, M13 9PL
United Kingdom

Anne Owen

University of Leeds ( email )

Leeds, LS2 9JT
United Kingdom

Robert Holland

University of Southampton ( email )

University Rd.
Southampton SO17 1BJ, Hampshire SO17 1LP
United Kingdom

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