A time series of balanced input-output tables for the UK was constructed for the period 1992 to 2004 by using a matrix balancing procedure that is able to handle conflicting external data and inconsistent constraints.
Detailed sectoral and country-specific trade data for the UK were compiled and reconciled with the UK input-output data, and economic and environmental accounts for three world regions were integrated in a UK-specific MRIO model. This was subsequently used to calculate a time series of national carbon footprints for the UK from 1992 to 2004.
Greenhouse gas emissions embedded in UK trade are distinguished by destination of imports to intermediate and final demand. Most greenhouse gases show a significant increase over time in consumer emissions and a widening gap between producer and consumer emissions.
Net CO2 emissions embedded in UK imports increased from 4.3% of producer emissions in 1992 to a maximum of 20% in 2002.
The total estimated UK carbon footprint in 2004 was 730 Mt for CO2 and 934 Mt CO2 equivalents for all greenhouse gases.