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Environ Sci Technol. 2016 Jul 19;50(14):7535-45. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.6b00872. Epub 2016 Jun 24.

Socioeconomic Drivers of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the United States.

Liang S1, Wang H1,2, Qu S1, Feng T1,3, Guan D4, Fang H2, Xu M1,5,6.

Author information

1
School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan , Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1041, United States.
2
School of Economics and Management, Beihang University , Beijing, 100191, P.R. China.
3
School of Economics and Management, North China Electric Power University , Beijing 102206, P.R. China.
4
School of International Development, University of East Anglia , Norwich, NR4 7TJ, United Kingdom.
5
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan , Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2125, United States.
6
Sustainable Development and New-Type Urbanization Think Tank, Tongji University , Shanghai, 200092, P.R. China.

Abstract

Existing studies examined the U.S.'s direct GHG emitters and final consumers driving upstream GHG emissions, but overlooked the U.S.'s primary suppliers enabling downstream GHG emissions and relative contributions of socioeconomic factors to GHG emission changes from the supply side. This study investigates GHG emissions of sectors in the U.S. from production-based (direct emissions), consumption-based (upstream emissions driven by final consumption of products), and income-based (downstream emissions enabled by primary inputs of sectors) viewpoints. We also quantify relative contributions of socioeconomic factors to the US's GHG emission changes during 1995-2009 from both the consumption and supply sides, using structural decomposition analysis (SDA). Results show that income-based method can identify new critical sectors leading to GHG emissions (e.g., Renting of Machinery & Equipment and Other Business Activities and Financial Intermediation sectors) which are unidentifiable by production-based and consumption-based methods. Moreover, the supply side SDA reveals new factors for GHG emission changes: mainly production output structure representing product allocation pattern and primary input structure indicating sectoral shares in primary inputs. In addition to production-side and consumption-side GHG reduction measures, the U.S. should also pay attention to supply side measures such as influencing the behaviors of product allocation and primary inputs.

PMID:
27276120
DOI:
10.1021/acs.est.6b00872
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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