What is it about?

This study proposes an alternative way of calculating the household embodied carbon emissions from the intermediate industries. The model estimates the households embodied emissions from the intermediate industrial consumption rather than from intermediate industrial production. The usual approach is limited to merely considering the emission intensity of the production industry whose final (household) embodied emissions are being estimated. Whereas, the consideration of final household embodied emissions from the intermediate intra plus inter-industrial consumption takes in to account not only the production sector emission intensity but also the emission intensities of its entire upstream supply chain, which provides four-dimensional interconnected mitigation impact because under this approach the value of household embedded emissions is based upon its final consumption, the industrial production technology, the emission intensity of the consumer product, and carbon intensities of a product’s entire upstream supply chain.

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Why is it important?

There existed a considerable difference amongst emissions patterns from the usual household embedded emissions from intermediate industrial production and the embedded emissions from inter and intra-sectoral consumption. For example, the sectors of ‘Extractive industry’; ‘Metal products manufacturing’; ‘Electricity, Steam, and Hot water production and supply’; ‘Non-metallic Mineral Products’ and ‘Petroleum processing, Coking and Nuclear fuel industry’ had quite considerable net increases of the embedded urban household emissions from industrial production, contrarily had negative net emissions from inter-sectoral consumption embedded emissions. For rural households, ‘Extractive industry’; ‘Chemical industry’; and ‘Machinery and Equipment’ witnessed net emission decreases to embodied emissions from industrial production, while saw positive net increases to the inter-sectoral consumption emissions. For both urban and rural households, there were also quite a few differences between net embodied emission increases from industrial production and intra-sectoral consumption. There was also a huge difference in total, urban, and rural household embedded emissions from the intermediate industrial consumption (inter plus intra-sectoral) and the embodied emissions from intermediate industrial production. All these figures indicate that there is a need for carbon re-labelling of the embedded emissions from household consumption of industrial products specifically for the Chinese households. This carbon relabelling by targeting final demand induced intermediate industrial carbon consumption will not only be helpful in improving the household final demand consumption structure of high intermediate carbon consuming industries, but it will also encourage the key intermediate carbon consumers in improving the production technology; looking for alternative cleaner procurement options (including for energy and transport); encouraging and forcing (where feasible) their high intensity upstream selling partners to improve their respective carbon intensities; invest and collaborate in carbon efficiency projects of their upstream suppliers. Because the relabeled household embodied emissions based upon intermediate industrial consumption catalyzed with necessary legal amendments (carbon taxation, personal carbon trading) and public awareness projects (social media, electronic media and press) will pursue the households to reconsider their consumption of the high emissions embedded products. This will give rise to the four-dimensional mitigation effect.


It was quite difficult to write this paper because of the technicality and the large number of calculations involved.

Dr. Muhammad Jawad Sajid
Xuzhou Institute of Technology

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Prospects of industrial consumption embedded final emissions: a revision on Chinese household embodied industrial emissions, Scientific Reports, February 2020, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-58814-w.
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