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In international agreements, countries are considered responsible for the greenhouse gas emissions linked to their production activities. The carbon footprint provides an alternative assessment of this responsibility by attributing emissions to the country where the goods and services are consumed. This study presents the production-based CO2 emissions and the carbon footprint of the three Belgian regions for the year 2015. The production-based CO2 emissions are derived from the regional air emission accounts developed for this study, while the regional carbon footprints are calculated based on an input-output model and input-output data that include CO2 emissions. According to the results, the carbon footprint exceeds production-based emissions for all three regions. This implies that their contribution to global CO2 emissions is larger from a consumption perspective than from a production perspective.
The traditional attribution of responsibility for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to producing countries may be distorted by international trade flows as importing emission-intensive commodities contributes to reducing a country’s production-based emissions. This has motivated the calculation of carbon footprints that measure the amount of domestic and foreign GHG emissions (directly and indirectly) embodied in commodities intended for final consumption by a country’s residents. In this
working paper, we present carbon footprint estimations for Belgium based on global multi-regional input-output (MRIO) tables that have been made consistent with detailed Belgian national accounts. According to our calculations, Belgium’s carbon footprint is substantially higher than its productionbased emissions, which means that Belgium is a net importer of GHG emissions. Moreover, our results show that consistency with detailed national accounts does matter for MRIO-based carbon footprint calculations, in particular for a small open economy like Belgium.
This paper constitutes the contribution of the Federal Planning Bureau to the round table discussion with the Interdepartemental Commission for Sustainable Development of 11/2/2016 as part of task 1.3 of the SUSPENS research project. This paper gives a brief description of the climate and social policy in Belgium. The focus is on the policy goals to which Belgium has committed itself and on how far these have been achieved. The analysis shows that Belgium will have to make considerable efforts to achieve these goals and that cross-border cooperation will be necessary to realise the transition towards a low-carbon society.