Globalization increases the interconnectedness of people and places around the world through markets, flows of capital, labor, services, information, and human migration. In such a connected world, goods and services consumed in one country are often produced in other countries and exchanged via international trade. Thus, local consumption, in particular in urban areas, is increasingly met by global supply chains that often involve large geographical distances. As such, local consumption can have negative impacts on both the local and global environment, contributing to climate change, water scarcity, deforestation, and other land conversions, all of which impact important ecosystem services. In addition, the inequalities found in consumption can translate into environmental terms: People in high-income countries maintain higher incomes and more resource-intensive lifestyles, while people in low-income countries often bear the environmental and social consequences. To account for the global environmental and social impacts of consumption and global inequalities in wealth, we propose a global supply and value chain analysis. Such an analysis involves using local consumption data and global trade data at the sector level, along with environmental and socio-economic extensions. By analyzing global supply chains, one can inform policies about resource implications and environmental and social impacts of consumption choices within geographical and socio-demographic contexts. There are a number of areas where new research and theoretical guidance is needed, primarily through combining innovatively local and global datasets.
The goals of this project are to:
- Create a collaborative network, involving researchers and stakeholders, for developing a common framework addressing global trends in consumption and production, and associated impacts upon environment and society;
- Synthesize local to global datasets and perform scenario analyses on trade-offs and win-win strategies regarding social, economic, and environmental impacts of household consumption for about 70,000 census tracts in the U.S.;
- Provide in-depth development scenarios and social and environmental implications using greater Los Angeles metropolitan area as a case study; and
- Provide knowledge brokerage to urban stakeholders and the wider public interested in sustainability issues.
|Resource Title||Brief Summary|
|Comparing apples with oranges: some confusion about using and interpreting physical trade matrices versus multi-regional input-output analysis||
Jan 01, 2016
Article published in Land Use Policy.
|Linking Local Consumption to Global Impacts||
May 19, 2016
Article published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology.
|Household carbon footprints in the Baltic States: A global multi-regional input–output analysis from 1995 to 2011||
Mar 01, 2017
Article published in Applied Energy.