UK Energy and Climate Change Committee 12th Report: Consumption-Based Emissions Reporting

The Energy and Climate Change Committee is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure, administration, and policy of the Department of Energy and Climate Change and associated public bodies.

Greenhouse gas emissions can be accounted for in different ways. The UK’s territorial emissions account for those that are physically emitted from chimneys and exhausts in the UK. Driving down the UK’s territorial emissions has been a main policy driver for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

The UK’s consumption-based emissions take into account the emissions generated in another country during the manufacture of goods (or services) that are then exported and “consumed” in the UK. Data on the UK’s consumption-based emissions is gathered by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

There is a clear divergence between the UK’s territorial emissions and its consumptionbased emissions. The UK’s territorial emissions have been going down, while the UK’s consumption-based emissions, overall, have been going up. The rate at which the UK’s consumption-based emissions have increased have far offset any emissions savings from the decrease in territorial emissions. This means that the UK is contributing to a net increase in global emissions. (continued…)

Table of Contents
  1. Introduction
  2.  Considering consumption-based emissions:  Emissions trends,  Carbon Leakage, Compensation for energy intensive companies
  3. Policy applications:  West Sussex County, Council Lake District, Manchester, Regional to national, Defra’s latest consumption emissions data, Data availability and robustness, Challenges and perverse consequences, Committee on Climate Change
  4. The Government’s Position
  5. Climate Change Negotiations:  Developing countries, Border tariff adjustments
  6. Changing behaviour:  Carbon labelling
  7. Conclusions and recommendations