Sub-national governments are increasingly interested in local-level climate change management. Carbon- (CO2 and CH4) and climate-footprints—(Kyoto Basket GHGs) (effectively single impact category LCA metrics, for global warming potential) provide an opportunity to develop models to facilitate effective mitigation. Three approaches are available for the footprinting of sub-national communities. Territorial-based approaches, which focus on production emissions within the geo-political boundaries, are useful for highlighting local emission sources but do not reflect the transboundary nature of sub-national community infrastructures. Transboundary approaches, which extend territorial footprints through the inclusion of key cross boundary flows of materials and energy, are more representative of community structures and processes but there are concerns regarding comparability between studies. The third option, consumption-based, considers global GHG emissions that result from final consumption (households, governments, and investment). Using a case study of Southampton, UK, this chapter develops the data and methods required for a sub-national territorial, transboundary, and consumption-based carbon and climate footprints. The results and implication of each footprinting perspective are discussed in the context of emerging international standards. The study clearly shows that the carbon footprint (CO2 and CH4 only) offers a low-cost, low-data, universal metric of anthropogenic GHG emission and subsequent management.
Part of the book: New Frontiers on Life Cycle Assessment