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Title: Land, carbon and water footprints in Taiwan

The consumer responsibility approach uses footprints as indicators of the total direct and indirect effects of a product or consumption activity. This study used a time-series analysis of three environmental pressures to quantify the total environmental pressures caused by consumption in Taiwan: land footprint, carbon footprint, and water footprint. Land footprint is the pressure from appropriation of biologically productive land and water area. Carbon footprint is the pressure from greenhouse gas emissions. Water footprint is the pressure from freshwater consumption. Conventional carbon footprint is the total CO{sub 2} emitted by a certain activity or the CO{sub 2} accumulation during a product life cycle. This definition cannot be used to convert CO{sub 2} emissions into land units. This study responds to the needs of “CO{sub 2} land” in the footprint family by applying the carbon footprint concept used by GFN. The analytical results showed that consumption by the average Taiwan citizen in 2000 required appropriation of 5.39 gha (hectares of land with global-average biological productivity) and 3.63 gha in 2011 in terms of land footprint. The average Taiwan citizen had a carbon footprint of 3.95 gha in 2000 and 5.94 gha in 2011. These results indicate that separately analyzing the landmore » and carbon footprints enables their trends to be compared and appropriate policies and strategies for different sectors to be proposed accordingly. The average Taiwan citizen had a blue water footprint of 801 m{sup 3} in 2000 and 784 m{sup 3} in 2011. By comparison, their respective global averages were 1.23 gha, 2.36 gha and 163 m{sup 3} blue water in 2011, respectively. Overall, Taiwan revealed higher environmental pressures compared to the rest of the world, demonstrating that Taiwan has become a high footprint state and has appropriated environmental resources from other countries. That is, through its imports of products with embodied pressures and its exports, Taiwan has transferred the environmental pressures from consuming goods and services to other parts of the world, which is an environmental injustice. This study examines the time series trend of land, carbon, and water footprints in Taiwan. However, if these analyses can be downscaled to city/county levels, they will be more useful for examining different sustainability performance of local governments in different regions. - Highlights: • This study used a time-series analysis of three environmental pressures to quantify the total environmental pressures caused by consumption in Taiwan: land footprint, carbon footprint and water footprint. • The average Taiwan citizen had a land footprint of 5.39 gha in 2000 and 3.63 gha in 2011. • The average Taiwan citizen had a carbon footprint of 3.95 gha in 2000 and 5.94 gha in 2011. • The average Taiwan citizen had a blue water footprint of 801 m{sup 3} in 2000 and 784 m{sup 3} in 2011. • By comparison, their respective global averages were 1.23 gha, 2.36 gha and 163 m{sup 3} blue water footprint in 2011, respectively. Taiwan revealed higher environmental pressures compared to the rest of the world.« less
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22479744
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Impact Assessment Review; Journal Volume: 54; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2015 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; CARBON DIOXIDE; CARBON FOOTPRINT; ENERGY POLICY; ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY; EXPORTS; FRESH WATER; GLOBAL ASPECTS; GOODS AND SERVICES; GREENHOUSE GASES; IMPORTS; LIFE CYCLE; LOCAL GOVERNMENT; TAIWAN