Policy-relevant applications of environmentally extended MRIO databases – experiences from the UK

The impressive development in global multi-region input–output (IO) databases is accompanied by an increase in applications published in the scientific literature. However, it is not obvious whether the insights gained from these studies have indeed been used in political decision-making. We ask whether and to what extent there is policy uptake of results from environmentally extended multi-region IO (EE-MRIO) models and how it may be improved. We identify unique characteristics of such models not inherent to other approaches. We then present evidence from the UK showing that a policy process around consumption-based accounting for greenhouse gas emissions and resource use has evolved that is based on results from EE-MRIO modelling. This suggests that specific, policy-relevant information that would be impossible to obtain otherwise can be generated with the help of EE-MRIO models. Our analysis is limited to environmental applications of global MRIO models and to government policies in the UK.

Wiedmann T; Barrett J (2013), Economic Systems Research, 25, pp.143-156.