Quotation Frey, Verena, Bruckner, Martin. 2021. The global carbon footprint of Austria's consumption of agricultural (food and non-food) products. Ecological Economic Papers, 41/2021.




Agricultural production is one of the largest contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions. High-income countries like Austria source large quantities of feed, food and nonfood crops abroad thereby outsourcing emissions. Understanding global supply chains and geographical patterns of the trade with agricultural products is crucial for taking on responsibility for consumption-based emissions arising in other world regions. This study investigates Austria’s carbon footprint capturing all emissions from global agriculture associated with the consumption of food and non-food products. The analysis gives detailed insights into the contribution of various products and product categories, countries and regions, and carbon emitting processes across global supply chains, while comprehensively capturing all products consumed in Austria including their upstream emissions. The results show that while emission sources vary considerably for different consumption products, animal-based products account for the major part of emissions across the source regions. About 64% of Austrian emissions related to Austria’s carbon footprint of food products occur outside Austrian borders. Most emissions origin in Austria itself (36%), the rest of Europe (22%) and Asia (19%) and Latin America (14%). More than two thirds of emissions are related to the consumption of meat and other animal-based products. The results show the importance of consumption patterns, especially of meat and other animal products, for the Austrian footprint, which implies a great reduction potential through alternative diets and indicates clear limitations for emission mitigation strategies that instead focus on production efficiency.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Working/discussion paper, preprint
Language English
Title The global carbon footprint of Austria's consumption of agricultural (food and non-food) products
Title of whole publication Ecological Economic Papers, 41/2021
Year 2021
URL https://epub.wu.ac.at/8371/


FINEPRINT (Spatially explicit material footprints: Fine-scale assessment of Europe's global environmental and social impacts)
Bruckner, Martin (Details)
Frey, Verena (WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria)
Institute for Ecological Economics IN (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
2944 Human ecology (Details)
2959 Sustainable development, sustainable economics (Details)
4119 Regenerable raw materials (Details)
4907 Interdisciplinary agricultural and forestry science (Details)
4924 Sustainable development, sustainable economics (Details)
5353 Environmental economics (Details)
5368 Sustainable development, sustainable economics (Details)
5914 Environmental research (Details)
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