Household carbon footprints in the Baltic States: A global multi-regional input–output analysis from 1995 to 2011

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Mar 01, 2017
J. Brizga, K. Feng, and K. Hubacek



The paper analyzes consumption related household CO2 equivalent (CO2e) emissions for the three Baltic States – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania from 1995 to 2011. The analysis is based on a multi-regional input–output model, which allows us to estimate life-cycle emissions for all major household consumption items. Results demonstrate that household carbon footprints in all the Baltic States significantly increased by 47% in Estonia, 20% in Latvia and 52% in Lithuania during the study period. In 2011 in Estonia expenditures for housing and utility contributed the highest per capita life-cycle emissions – 43%. However, in Lithuania housing accounted only for 16% of per capita emissions, but food and transport were responsible for 31%; whereas in Estonia and Latvia transport accounted for 18% and 21%, respectively. Production processes related to food consumption are responsible for 18% of emissions in Estonia, 31% in Latvia and Lithuania. Most of the indirect emissions are related to imports from Russia and China followed by imports from other Baltic States. If consumption-based emissions are to decrease countries will have to (1) change household behavior, which requires relevant knowledge, infrastructure and resources to facilitate switching to lower carbon-intensive alternatives; (2) decarbonize their own energy and transport sectors; and (3) reduce lifecycle emissions associated with trade, by supporting imports from low carbon regions, including producing locally.

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