Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 8

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Related Abstracts

8 Environmental Policy Instruments and Greenhouse Gas Emissions: VAR Analysis

Authors: Veronika Solilová, Danuše Nerudová


The paper examines the interaction between the environmental taxation, size of government spending on environmental protection and greenhouse gas emissions and gross inland energy consumption. The aim is to analyze the effects of environmental taxation and government spending on environmental protection as an environmental policy instruments on greenhouse gas emissions and gross inland energy consumption in the EU15. The empirical study is performed using a VAR approach with the application of aggregated data of EU15 over the period 1995 to 2012. The results provide the evidence that the reactions of greenhouse gas emission and gross inland energy consumption to the shocks of environmental policy instruments are strong, mainly in the short term and decay to zero after about 8 years. Further, the reactions of the environmental policy instruments to the shocks of greenhouse gas emission and gross inland energy consumption are also strong in the short term, however with the deferred effects. In addition, the results show that government spending on environmental protection together with gross inland energy consumption has stronger effect on greenhouse gas emissions than environmental taxes in EU15 over the examined period.

Keywords: Greenhouse Gas Emissions, government spending, VAR analysis, environmental taxation

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7 Climate Change Law and Transnational Corporations

Authors: Manuel Jose Oyson


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned in its most recent report for the entire world “to both mitigate and adapt to climate change if it is to effectively avoid harmful climate impacts.” The IPCC observed “with high confidence” a more rapid rise in total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) emissions from 2000 to 2010 than in the past three decades that “were the highest in human history”, which if left unchecked will entail a continuing process of global warming and can alter the climate system. Current efforts, however, to respond to the threat of global warming, such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, have focused on states, and fail to involve Transnational Corporations (TNCs) which are responsible for a vast amount of GHG emissions. Involving TNCs in the search for solutions to climate change is consistent with an acknowledgment by contemporary international law that there is an international role for other international persons, including TNCs, and departs from the traditional “state-centric” response to climate change. Putting the focus of GHG emissions away from states recognises that the activities of TNCs “are not bound by national borders” and that the international movement of goods meets the needs of consumers worldwide. Although there is no legally-binding instrument that covers TNC activities or legal responsibilities generally, TNCs have increasingly been made legally responsible under international law for violations of human rights, exploitation of workers and environmental damage, but not for climate change damage. Imposing on TNCs a legally-binding obligation to reduce their GHG emissions or a legal liability for climate change damage is arguably formidable and unlikely in the absence a recognisable source of obligation in international law or municipal law. Instead a recourse to “soft law” and non-legally binding instruments may be a way forward for TNCs to reduce their GHG emissions and help in addressing climate change. Positive effects have been noted by various studies to voluntary approaches. TNCs have also in recent decades voluntarily committed to “soft law” international agreements. This development reflects a growing recognition among corporations in general and TNCs in particular of their corporate social responsibility (CSR). While CSR used to be the domain of “small, offbeat companies”, it has now become part of mainstream organization. The paper argues that TNCs must voluntarily commit to reducing their GHG emissions and helping address climate change as part of their CSR. One, as a serious “global commons problem”, climate change requires international cooperation from multiple actors, including TNCs. Two, TNCs are not innocent bystanders but are responsible for a large part of GHG emissions across their vast global operations. Three, TNCs have the capability to help solve the problem of climate change. Assuming arguendo that TNCs did not strongly contribute to the problem of climate change, society would have valid expectations for them to use their capabilities, knowledge-base and advanced technologies to help address the problem. It would seem unthinkable for TNCs to do nothing while the global environment fractures.

Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Transnational Corporations, climate change law

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6 Greenhouse Gas Emissions from a Tropical Eutrophic Freshwater Wetland

Authors: Juan P. Silva, T. R. Canchala, H. J. Lubberding, E. J. Peña, H. J. Gijzen


This study measured the fluxes of greenhouse gases (GHGs) i.e. CO2, CH4 and N2O from a tropical eutrophic freshwater wetland (“Sonso Lagoon”) which receives input loading nutrient from several sources i.e. agricultural run-off, domestic sewage, and a polluted river. The flux measurements were carried out at four different points using the static chamber technique. CO2 fluxes ranged from -8270 to 12210 mg.m-2.d-1 (median = 360; SD = 4.11; n = 50), CH4 ranged between 0.2 and 5270 mg.m-2.d-1 (median = 60; SD = 1.27; n = 45), and N2O ranged from -31.12 to 15.4 mg N2O m-2.d-1 (median = 0.05; SD = 9.36; n = 42). Although some negative fluxes were observed in the zone dominated by floating plants i.e. Eichornia crassipes, Salvinia sp., and Pistia stratiotes L., the mean values indicated that the Sonso Lagoon was a net source of CO2, CH4 and N2O. In addition, an effect of the eutrophication on GHG emissions could be observed in the positive correlation found between CO2, CH4 and N2O generation and COD, PO4-3, NH3-N, TN and NO3-N. The eutrophication impact on GHG production highlights the necessity to limit the anthropic activities on freshwater wetlands.

Keywords: Climate Change, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Eutrophication, freshwater wetlands

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5 Health and Greenhouse Gas Emission Implications of Reducing Meat Intakes in Hong Kong

Authors: Cynthia Sau Chun Yip, Richard Fielding


High meat and especially red meat intakes are significantly and positively associated with a multiple burden of diseases and also high greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This study investigated population meat intake patterns in Hong Kong. It quantified the burden of disease and GHG emission outcomes by modeling to adjust Hong Kong population meat intakes to recommended healthy levels. It compared age- and sex-specific population meat, fruit and vegetable intakes obtained from a population survey among adults aged 20 years and over in Hong Kong in 2005-2007, against intake recommendations suggested in the Modelling System to Inform the Revision of the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating (AGHE-2011-MS) technical document. This study found that meat and meat alternatives, especially red meat intakes among Hong Kong males aged 20+ years and over are significantly higher than recommended. Red meat intakes among females aged 50-69 years and other meat and alternatives intakes among aged 20-59 years are also higher than recommended. Taking the 2005-07 age- and sex-specific population meat intake as baselines, three counterfactual scenarios of adjusting Hong Kong adult population meat intakes to AGHE-2011-MS and Pre-2011 AGHE recommendations by the year 2030 were established. Consequent energy intake gaps were substituted with additional legume, fruit and vegetable intakes. To quantify the consequent GHG emission outcomes associated with Hong Kong meat intakes, Cradle-to-ready-to-eat lifecycle assessment emission outcome modelling was used. Comparative risk assessment of burden of disease model was used to quantify the health outcomes. This study found adjusting meat intakes to recommended levels could reduce Hong Kong GHG emission by 17%-44% when compared against baseline meat intake emissions, and prevent 2,519 to 7,012 premature deaths in males and 53 to 1,342 in females, as well as multiple burden of diseases when compared to the baseline meat intake scenario. Comparing lump sum meat intake reduction and outcome measures across the entire population, and using emission factors, and relative risks from individual studies in previous co-benefit studies, this study used age- and sex-specific input and output measures, emission factors and relative risks obtained from high quality meta-analysis and meta-review respectively, and has taken government dietary recommendations into account. Hence evaluations in this study are of better quality and more reflective of real life practices. Further to previous co-benefit studies, this study pinpointed age- and sex-specific population and meat-type-specific intervention points and leverages. When compared with similar studies in Australia, this study also showed that intervention points and leverages among populations in different geographic and cultural background could be different, and that globalization also globalizes meat consumption emission effects. More regional and cultural specific evaluations are recommended to promote more sustainable meat consumption and enhance global food security.

Keywords: Greenhouse Gas Emissions, burden of diseases, Hong Kong diet, sustainable meat consumption

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4 Satellite Technology Usage for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Monitoring and Verification: Policy Considerations for an International System

Authors: Timiebi Aganaba-Jeanty


Accurate and transparent monitoring, reporting and verification of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and removals is a requirement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Several countries are obligated to prepare and submit an annual national greenhouse gas inventory covering anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks, subject to a review conducted by an international team of experts. However, the process is not without flaws. The self-reporting varies enormously in thoroughness, frequency and accuracy including inconsistency in the way such reporting occurs. The world’s space agencies are calling for a new generation of satellites that would be precise enough to map greenhouse gas emissions from individual nations. The plan is delicate politically because the global system could verify or cast doubt on emission reports from the member states of the UNFCCC. A level playing field is required and an idea that an international system should be perceived as an instrument to facilitate fairness and equality rather than to spy on or punish. This change of perspective is required to get buy in for an international verification system. The research proposes the viability of a satellite system that provides independent access to data regarding greenhouse gas emissions and the policy and governance implications of its potential use as a monitoring and verification system for the Paris Agreement. It assesses the foundations of the reporting monitoring and verification system as proposed in Paris and analyzes this in light of a proposed satellite system. The use of remote sensing technology has been debated for verification purposes and as evidence in courts but this is not without controversy. Lessons can be learned from its use in this context.

Keywords: Satellite, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Reporting, monitoring and verification, UNFCCC

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3 The Long-Run Impact of Financial Development on Greenhouse Gas Emissions in India: An Application of Regime Shift Based Cointegration Approach

Authors: Javaid Ahmad Dar, Mohammad Asif


The present study investigates the long-run impact of financial development, energy consumption and economic growth on greenhouse gas emissions for India, in presence of endogenous structural breaks, over a period of 1971-2013. Autoregressive distributed lag bounds testing procedure and Hatemi-J threshold cointegration technique have been used to test the variables for cointegration. ARDL bounds test did not confirm any cointegrating relationship between the variables. The threshold cointegration test establishes the presence of long-run impact of financial development, energy use and economic growth on greenhouse gas emissions in India. The results reveal that the long-run relationship between the variables has witnessed two regime shifts, in 1978 and 2002. The empirical evidence shows that financial sector development and energy consumption in India degrade environment. Unlike previous studies, this paper finds no statistical evidence of long-run relationship between economic growth and environmental deterioration. The study also challenges the existence of environmental Kuznets curve in India.

Keywords: Global Warming, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Financial Development, cointegration, unit root, regime shift

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2 Multi-Criteria Decision Making Network Optimization for Green Supply Chains

Authors: Bandar A. Alkhayyal


Modern supply chains are typically linear, transforming virgin raw materials into products for end consumers, who then discard them after use to landfills or incinerators. Nowadays, there are major efforts underway to create a circular economy to reduce non-renewable resource use and waste. One important aspect of these efforts is the development of Green Supply Chain (GSC) systems which enables a reverse flow of used products from consumers back to manufacturers, where they can be refurbished or remanufactured, to both economic and environmental benefit. This paper develops novel multi-objective optimization models to inform GSC system design at multiple levels: (1) strategic planning of facility location and transportation logistics; (2) tactical planning of optimal pricing; and (3) policy planning to account for potential valuation of GSC emissions. First, physical linear programming was applied to evaluate GSC facility placement by determining the quantities of end-of-life products for transport from candidate collection centers to remanufacturing facilities while satisfying cost and capacity criteria. Second, disassembly and remanufacturing processes have received little attention in industrial engineering and process cost modeling literature. The increasing scale of remanufacturing operations, worth nearly $50 billion annually in the United States alone, have made GSC pricing an important subject of research. A non-linear physical programming model for optimization of pricing policy for remanufactured products that maximizes total profit and minimizes product recovery costs were examined and solved. Finally, a deterministic equilibrium model was used to determine the effects of internalizing a cost of GSC greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into optimization models. Changes in optimal facility use, transportation logistics, and pricing/profit margins were all investigated against a variable cost of carbon, using case study system created based on actual data from sites in the Boston area. As carbon costs increase, the optimal GSC system undergoes several distinct shifts in topology as it seeks new cost-minimal configurations. A comprehensive study of quantitative evaluation and performance of the model has been done using orthogonal arrays. Results were compared to top-down estimates from economic input-output life cycle assessment (EIO-LCA) models, to contrast remanufacturing GHG emission quantities with those from original equipment manufacturing operations. Introducing a carbon cost of $40/t CO2e increases modeled remanufacturing costs by 2.7% but also increases original equipment costs by 2.3%. The assembled work advances the theoretical modeling of optimal GSC systems and presents a rare case study of remanufactured appliances.

Keywords: Industrial Ecology, Circular economy, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, extended producer responsibility, low carbon logistics, green supply chains

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1 Toward the Decarbonisation of EU Transport Sector: Impacts and Challenges of the Diffusion of Electric Vehicles

Authors: Francesca Fermi, Paola Astegiano, Angelo Martino, Stephanie Heitel, Michael Krail


In order to achieve the targeted emission reductions for the decarbonisation of the European economy by 2050, fundamental contributions are required from both energy and transport sectors. The objective of this paper is to analyse the impacts of a largescale diffusion of e-vehicles, either battery-based or fuel cells, together with the implementation of transport policies aiming at decreasing the use of motorised private modes in order to achieve greenhouse gas emission reduction goals, in the context of a future high share of renewable energy. The analysis of the impacts and challenges of future scenarios on transport sector is performed with the ASTRA (ASsessment of TRAnsport Strategies) model. ASTRA is a strategic system-dynamic model at European scale (EU28 countries, Switzerland and Norway), consisting of different sub-modules related to specific aspects: the transport system (e.g. passenger trips, tonnes moved), the vehicle fleet (composition and evolution of technologies), the demographic system, the economic system, the environmental system (energy consumption, emissions). A key feature of ASTRA is that the modules are linked together: changes in one system are transmitted to other systems and can feed-back to the original source of variation. Thanks to its multidimensional structure, ASTRA is capable to simulate a wide range of impacts stemming from the application of transport policy measures: the model addresses direct impacts as well as second-level and third-level impacts. The simulation of the different scenarios is performed within the REFLEX project, where the ASTRA model is employed in combination with several energy models in a comprehensive Modelling System. From the transport sector perspective, some of the impacts are driven by the trend of electricity price estimated from the energy modelling system. Nevertheless, the major drivers to a low carbon transport sector are policies related to increased fuel efficiency of conventional drivetrain technologies, improvement of demand management (e.g. increase of public transport and car sharing services/usage) and diffusion of environmentally friendly vehicles (e.g. electric vehicles). The final modelling results of the REFLEX project will be available from October 2018. The analysis of the impacts and challenges of future scenarios is performed in terms of transport, environmental and social indicators. The diffusion of e-vehicles produces a consistent reduction of future greenhouse gas emissions, although the decarbonisation target can be achieved only with the contribution of complementary transport policies on demand management and supporting the deployment of low-emission alternative energy for non-road transport modes. The paper explores the implications through time of transport policy measures on mobility and environment, underlying to what extent they can contribute to a decarbonisation of the transport sector. Acknowledgements: The results refer to the REFLEX project which has received grants from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under Grant Agreement No. 691685.

Keywords: Energy, Decarbonisation, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, e-mobility, transport policies

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