If you've ever been on the tube in London, both the sign writer and the conductor will have reminded you to "mind the gap." The gap in question is the one between the platform and the train. To board the train safely, you need to mind the gap. Climate policy has some fast-growing carbon gaps.
Carbon gaps are the difference between a country’s extraction, production, and consumption of fossil fuels:
- Extraction: where primary fossil fuels are extracted from the ground
- Production: where fossils fuels are combusted
- Consumption: where products made using fossil fuels are consumed
Due to the growing trade of carbon, in fuels and products, a country’s extraction emissions or consumption emissions can be very different from its production emissions (the conventional estimate). By using the three accounting points, as researchers did in the recent paper “Climate policy and dependence on traded carbon," we can get a better understanding of a nation’s climate impact.
The graphic below details extraction, production, and consumption emission estimates for seven regions in 2007: