Consumption-Based GHG Emissions Inventory

Learn about the Air District’s Consumption-Based Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory.

The Air District collaborated with the Cool Climate Network at UC Berkeley to develop a consumption-based inventory of greenhouse gas emissions for the San Francisco Bay Area, based on the six greenhouse gases identified in the Kyoto Protocol: CO2, methane, N2O, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride. The consumption-based inventory estimates the amount of greenhouse gases emitted in the production of goods and services from all over the world that are consumed by Bay Area residents. 

The consumption-based inventory is intended to supplement and complement the Air District’s production-based inventory of greenhouse gases that are emitted within the geographic boundaries of the Air District.

The consumption-based inventory is based on a full life-cycle analysis of the emissions generated by the production, shipping, use, and disposal of each product consumed in the Bay Area, regardless of where the GHG emissions were released to the atmosphere. The inventory estimates emissions for several hundred categories of products within the five basic areas of transportation, housing, food, goods, and services.

Because our modern economy is highly integrated and global in scale, a significant portion of the goods and services consumed by Bay Area residents are produced in other states or nations. A consumption-based inventory is especially relevant for the purpose of analyzing the GHG footprint of people in affluent regions, such as the San Francisco Bay Area, where the high level of income enjoyed by many households leads to increased consumption of goods and services, as well as more spending on leisure activities such as vacation travel.

In combination, the Air District’s traditional GHG inventory and the consumption-based inventory provide a more complete analysis of how the region contributes to global climate change.

The consumption-based emissions inventory will be used to:

  • help inform development of the Air District’s Regional Climate Protection Strategy
  • identify potential GHG emission reduction policies or measures
  • assist climate planning efforts by cities and counties in the Bay Area
  • help educate Bay Area residents about the size and composition of their GHG footprint and how they can take action to reduce their GHG emissions

Additional information

Summary of CBEI Methodology & Key Findings

PowerPoint presentation to Climate Protection Committee on November 19, 2015

Final Report from UC Berkeley Cool Climate Network

UC Berkeley Cool Climate website for emissions for each city and county

Spare the Air Status

Last Updated: 2/26/2024