The Carbon Trust, who gave evidence to the Select Committee, responds to the Energy and Climate Change Committee's new report on Consumption-Based Emissions Reporting.
This is an important report as it throws the carbon debate on its head. It fundamentally redefines what the actual carbon footprint of the UK is. The Carbon Trust has been arguing for some time now that the established production based way of measuring our carbon emissions does not take account of the fact that a significant proportion of our emissions occur overseas, especially in countries like China, through the manufacture of products that we import. The Committee has rightly concluded that our actual carbon emissions are therefore significantly higher when measured by total consumption of carbon than by just measuring carbon production in the UK. This new way of looking at carbon, through the lens of overall consumption, wherever it originates from, should act as an eye opener for policy makers, companies and for us all as individuals working to reduce our carbon emissions.
Simon Retallack, Strategy Manager at the Carbon Trust
Further information from the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee:
- Press release: Government should be open about 'outsourced emissions'
- Full report: Consumption-Based Emissions Reporting (PDF)
Our research into International Carbon Flows revealed the magnitude and impact of the movement of embodied carbon around the world, tracking the flow of emissions from the region of production to the region of consumption.