Preprint Communication Version 2 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Who is Responsible for Embodied CO2?

Version 1 : Received: 30 December 2020 / Approved: 31 December 2020 / Online: 31 December 2020 (09:19:10 CET)
Version 2 : Received: 24 February 2021 / Approved: 25 February 2021 / Online: 25 February 2021 (10:24:29 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Sanderson, H. Who Is Responsible for Embodied CO2? Climate 2021, 9, 41. Sanderson, H. Who Is Responsible for Embodied CO2? Climate 2021, 9, 41.


With the Paris Agreement, countries are obliged to report greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduc-tions, which will ensure that the global temperature increase is maintained well below 2C. The Parties will report their Nationally Determined Contributions in terms of plans and progress to-wards these targets during the postponed COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021. These commit-ments however do not take significant portions of the consumption related emissions related to countries imports in to account. Similarly, the majority of companies that report their emissions to CDP also do not account for their embodied value-chain related emissions. Municipalities, on the path towards carbon neutrality in accordance with the methods outlined by C40, also do not in-clude imported and embodied CO2e in their total emission tallies. So, who is responsible for these emissions - the producer or the consumer? How can we ensure that the NDC's, municipalities and companies reduction targets share the responsibility of the emissions in the value-chain thus en-suring that targets and plans become, sustainable, climate fair, and just in global value chains? Today the responsibility lays with the producer, which is not sustainable. We have the outline for the tools needed to quantify and transparently share the responsibility between producers and consumers at corporate, municipal and national level based on an improved understanding of the attendant sources, causes, flows and risks og GHG emissions globally. Hybrid LCA/EEIO models can for example be further developed. This will, in the end, enable everyday consumption to support a more sustainable, green and low carbon transition of our economy.


Sustainability; Climate; Trade; Models; Emissions; Value Chain; Justice


Environmental and Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science and Meteorology

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