Carbon footprint of Flemish consumption

The carbon footprint of Flemish consumption includes all greenhouse gas emissions generated globally as a result of the consumption of its inhabitants over the one-year period.


Will soon be updated.

What do we see?

The figures for Flanders are currently being calculated and published soon by Departement Omgeving. The previous data series ran until 2016 and can be accessed via Statistics Flanders.

What’s the aim?

Targets in the Flemish climate policy are set on the basis of territorial emissions. This policy focuses primarily on measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within Flanders. If we only consider these emissions, the effects of circular strategies (procurement policy, reuse, recycling …) on the climate may even appear negative. However, if we include greenhouse gas emissions outside of Flanders as a result of Flemish consumption, the environmental benefits of the circular economy become clear. Moreover, the consumption areas with the highest materials footprint (transportation, food and housing) also have the highest carbon footprint and we can link roughly 80% of the carbon footprint of consumption (107 million tonnes) to the production and distribution of globally purchased goods and services. The remaining 20% arises in the use phase. The way we handle materials thus largely determines our climate impact. Consequently, circular strategies should also lead to a decrease in our carbon footprint.

What does this indicator measure?

The carbon footprint of Flemish consumption includes the indirect greenhouse gas emissions, which arise during the production of the products consumed, and the direct greenhouse gases, which arise during household consumption (use phase).

The calculation of the CF starts from an environmental input-output model (IO model). This model scientifically links economic data for the global economy with associated environmental data. Using the methodology of the Leontief inverse, greenhouse gas emissions by economic sectors at home and abroad are linked to the final consumption of goods and services in Flanders.

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