CO2 multipliers in multi-region input-output models

Manfred Lenzen, Lise-Lotte Pade, Jesper Munksgaard

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


In order to achieve equitable reduction targets, international trade has to be taken into account when assessing nations’ responsibility for abating climate change. Especially for open economies such as Denmark, greenhouse gases embodied in internationally traded commodities can have a considerable influence on the national ‘greenhouse gas responsibility’. We set up a five-region input–output model including Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Norway in order to calculate CO2 multipliers and trade balances. We investigate multidirectional feedback between these countries, and hence the error inherent in a single-region input–output model. We also examine the effect of aggregation on the model results. In the case of Denmark, an 11 Mt CO2 trade surplus resulting from a single-region model turns into balance when multidirectional trade is considered. Moreover, aggregated models are likely to result in significant errors. Therefore, both the type and the degree of aggregation used for modelling CO2 responsibilities could have a major bearing in international negotiations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEconomic Systems Research
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)391-412
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Multi-region input–output model
  • CO2 responsibility
  • Feedback
  • Aggregation

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