Peddling Greenhouse Gases: How Much Does BC Export?

Bill Rees, the father of the ecological footprint, likes to say that fossil fuels are a powerful hallucinogenic drug. We are all addicted to cheap and abundant fossil fuels, and so have reshaped our economy and society in fundamentally unsustainable ways.

When emissions are reported for BC or Canada, there is an accounting convention that restricts the total to emissions released within the borders of that jurisdiction. This means that BC’s major exports of coal and natural gas are counted only to the extent that fossil fuels are used in the extraction and processing, not the combustion of the final product in the US. Most of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with fossil fuels are due to their eventual combustion.

A recent study takes a consumption (or lifecycle) approach to GHG emissions to see how much has been “outsourced” to countries like China that make the stuff we consume...

Read the full post by Marc Lee on Policy Note.