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The materiality of the immaterial: Service sectors and CO2 emissions in Uruguay

ISSNAño: 2015
AutorAutor/es: Piaggio, Matías , Alcántara, Vicent; Padilla, Emilio
EditorialEditorial: Ecological Economics, Volume 110
Nº de PáginasNº de Páginas: 1-10
This paper analyzes the carbon dioxide emissions of the service sector
subsystem of Uruguay in 2004. Services, with the exception of transport,
are often considered intangible because of their low level of direct
emissions. However, the provision of services requires inputs produced by
other sectors, including several highly material-intensive sectors.

Through input–output analysis we investigate the relationship between the
service subsystem and the rest of the economy as regards carbon dioxide
emissions. This approach allows us to study the importance of the set of
services branches as a unit in the economic structure as well as to analyze
in detail the relationship between the branches. The results depict that
services' direct emissions are the main component, as a consequence of
transport related sectors. However, the pollution that the service
subsystem makes the rest of the economy produce is very significant, and it
is almost all explained by non-transport related sectors. This analysis is
useful for determining the sectors in which mitigation policies are more
effective, and whether they would be better tackled through technical
improvements and better practices or through demand policies.
 
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