The Carbon-CAP project aimed at stimulating an effective climate policy mix in the European Union (EU) and internationally, to address emissions related to consumption in addition to those related to production. Why is this needed?
While emissions produced within the EU territory declined 13% from 1990 to 2010, carbon footprint increased by 8%. Growing consumption is a main driver and demand for consumer goods and services in the EU is often met by imports from other parts of the world. If emissions accounting focuses only on emissions related to production, as it’s presently the case, countries can import carbon intensive products without assuming responsibility for their carbon. The urgency of tackling climate change therefore requires complementing policies on production and consumption. The Paris Agreement pays almost no attention to these issues, opening a case for future revision, to expand the UNFCCC accounting base and include international carbon flows. This will be essential to stay below 2 °C temperature increases.
Carbon-CAP was a collaborative project funded by the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme. It involved 11 organisations working on climate change, science, policy and economy.