Production- and consumption-based accounting: an overview of the debate

Stavros Afionis, Marco Sakai

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Internationally, reporting of greenhouse gas emissions is currently based on the production-based (PB) accounting method, which measures emissions generated in the place where goods and services are produced. However, this allocation method has been criticised for excluding emissions embodied in trade. Consequently, consumption-based (CB) accounting has been proposed as an alternative, or as a complementary information tool. This approach allocates emissions from goods and services to the country of the final consumer. It therefore includes emissions embedded in imports, plus aviation and shipping emissions, but excludes emissions embodied in exports. The main aim of this chapter is to outline the arguments in favour of and against adoption of CB accounting. In addition, it reviews how CB accounting is used in policy-making processes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook on Trade Policy and Climate Change
EditorsMichael Jakob
Place of PublicationCheltenham, UK
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)978 1 83910 324 7
ISBN (Print)978 1 83910 323 0
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2022

Publication series

NameElgar Handbooks in Energy, the Environment and Climate Change
PublisherEdward Elgar

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Michael Jakob 2022. All rights reserved.


  • Consumption-based emissions
  • Production-based emissions
  • International Trade
  • Carbon footprint
  • Trade policy

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