CO2 emissions calculations: explaining concepts and methodologies

News Published 18 Dec 2013 Last modified 23 Nov 2020
1 min read
Photo: © Sal Falko
There are several methods for accounting for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The European Environment Agency (EEA) explains the key characteristics of different emissions accounting methods, highlighting the need for methodological improvements as well as better data coverage and quality.

The EEA report, European Union CO2 emissions: different accounting perspectives, explains the concepts and methodologies behind three different air emission accounting perspectives: territorial, production and consumption-based.

The territorial perspective considers emissions that are released to the atmosphere within a country’s borders and jurisdiction. This perspective corresponds to the legally enshrined practice used by sovereign states under international conventions such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The EEA report explains how the production perspective offers different insights, showing emissions resulting from the economic activities of a country’s residents and the companies registered in the country. The third method explained in the report provides a consumption perspective. This considers emissions associated with goods and services, attributing them to the country where they are consumed, regardless of where production of these goods and services result in emissions.


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