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Addressing the carbon-crime blind spot: A carbon footprint approach

Skudder, H, Druckman, A, Cole, J, McInnes, A, Brunton-Smith, IR and Ansaloni, GP (2016) Addressing the carbon-crime blind spot: A carbon footprint approach Journal of Industrial Ecology.

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Abstract

Governments estimate the social and economic impacts of crime, but its environmental impact is largely unacknowledged. Our study addresses this by estimating the carbon footprint of crime in England and Wales, and identifies the largest sources of emissions. By applying Environmentally-Extended Input-Output Analysis (EE-IOA) derived carbon emission factors to the monetised costs of crime, we estimate that crime committed in 2011 in England and Wales gave rise to over four million tonnes CO2e. Burglary resulted in the largest proportion of the total footprint (30%), due to the carbon associated with replacement of stolen/damaged goods. Emissions arising from criminal justice system services also accounted for a large proportion (21% of all offences; 49% of police recorded offences). Focus on these offences and the carbon efficiency of these services may help reduce the overall emissions that result from crime. However, cutting crime does not automatically result in a net reduction in carbon, as we need to take account of potential rebound effects. As an example, we consider the impact of reducing domestic burglary by 5%. Calculating this is inherently uncertain as it depends on assumptions concerning how money would be spent in the absence of crime. We find that this may result in a rebound effect of between 3% less and 23% more emissions. Despite this uncertainty concerning the carbon savings, our study goes some way towards informing policy makers of the scale of the environmental consequences of crime and thus enables it to be taken into account in policy appraisals.

Item Type: Article
Subjects : Environmental Strategy
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Sociology
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Skudder, HUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Druckman, AUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Cole, JUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
McInnes, AUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Brunton-Smith, IRUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Ansaloni, GPUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 17 June 2016
Identification Number : 10.1111/jiec.12457
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Industrial Ecology, published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc., on behalf of Yale University. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 20 Apr 2016 16:17
Last Modified : 05 Jul 2016 08:14
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/810075

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