Measuring Emissions

There are plenty of studies and evidence out there that show average levels of carbon emissions. However, a lot of the data published by governments focuses on territorial emissions. Essentially, this refers to the greenhouse gases produced within a nation.

The current climate in both sense is creating a lot of press and awareness around the climate issues and global warming.  As part of this we have studies from universities, government bodies and independent research bodies.  With the research and the awareness of the situation we would like to see that the studies are showing a decline in emissions and global warming, however where are we? 

The data that the research bodies and authorities has published focuses more on territorial emissions, (territorial emissions are those that take place within a country's territorial boundaries and include exports but omit imports).  For example, the UK in 2018 data shows annual emissions of 448.5 million tonnes of CO2e, down 43% since 1990. This seems like the dial is moving in the right direction when it comes to emissions and the total carbon footprint, however we need to consider other factors.  Firstly, consumption emissions  ( consumption-based approach captures direct and lifecycle GHG emissions of goods and services (including those from raw materials, manufacture, distribution, retail and disposal) and allocates GHG emissions to the final consumers of those goods and services, rather than to the original producers of those GHG emissions) data takes into account who is responsible for the emissions no matter where they are produced so if we can back to the UK data, and check the Greenhouse gases emissions related to imports, that has actually increased.  In 2017, they were 18% higher than 1997! So who do we believe? 

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