The role of CO2 emissions from large point sources in emissions totals, responsibility, and policy

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Gregg Marland Ph.D., Adjunct Faculty (Creator)
Eric Marland Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics (Creator)
Tatyana Ruseva Ph.D., Assistant Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: A large fraction of anthropogenic CO2 emissions comes from large point sources such as power plants, petroleum refineries, and large industrial facilities. The existence and locations of these facilities depend on a variety of factors that include the distribution of natural resources and the economy of scale of operating large facilities. These large facilities provide goods and/or services well beyond the political jurisdiction in which they reside and their emissions to the global atmosphere are not a simple reflection of the consumption of goods and services within the geographic region in which they reside. And yet many accounting schemes do not distinguish between emissions for local consumption and emissions for export. Looking at the geographic distribution of large point sources of CO2 emissions in theU.S. suggests that per capita emissions from a geographic area are not necessarily a good indication of the mitigation responsibility of the residents. The design of effective and fair mitigation strategies needs to consider that emissions embodied in the products of large facilities, such as electric power and refined petroleum products, are often transferred across accounting boundaries; e.g. the CO2 emissions occur in one jurisdiction even though the electricity is used in another. We close with a short discussion of how two sub-national emissions trading schemes in the U.S. have confronted the issue of embodied emissions crossing their jurisdictional boundaries.

Additional Information

Singer, A. M., M. Branham, M. G. Hutchins, J. Welker, D. L. Woodard, C. A. Badurek, Tatyana Ruseva, Eric Marland, and Gregg Marland, 2014. The role of CO2 emissions from large point sources in emissions totals, responsibility, and policy, Environmental Science and Policy 44: 190-200. Version of record available from Elsevier. [ISSN: 1462-9011], [doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2014.08.001].
Language: English
Date: 2014
CO2 emissions, Large point sources, Per capita emissions,

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