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Mapping Flows of Embodied Emissions in the Global Production System

A Skelton, Dabo Guan, Glen Peters, Douglas Crawford-Brown

Environmentally extended multiregional input-output (MRIO) analysis can be used to investigate final production and consumption attributions of emissions. As the distinction between the two attributions has been brought to the attention of policy-makers, there is an ever greater need to understand how and why they differ, by analyzing the connections between production and consumption activities. Seeking to meet this need, we present an approach for mapping flows of embodied emissions through a Leontief production system. The approach, seen as an extension of Structural Path Analysis (SPA), provides an exhaustive map of supply chain linkages between final production and consumption attributions of emissions. Whereas SPA is traditionally used to extract and rank individual supply chains according to the emissions occurring at the end of each chain, the mapping approach considers emissions embodied in the flows of intermediate products linking different economic sectors along supply chains. Illustrative results are presented from a global MRIO model and CO2 emissions for 2004. The emissions embodied in a sector’s total output of products is also of interest: a method for calculating this is presented and shown to provide further insight into where in the production system a sector’s overall emissions impact is concentrated.

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