The effect of household consumption patterns on energy use and greenhouse gas emissions: comparison between Spain and Sweden
Document typeMaster thesis
Rights accessOpen Access
The purpose of this study is to provide a better understanding of the effect of increasing income on energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by analyzing Spanish household consumption patterns and afterwards, comparing them with Swedish household consumption patterns (Nässén et al, 2009). In order to carry out this goal, the relationship between household expenditure and both energy use and CO2-eq emissions are calculated with the help of input-output methodology. Furthermore, a regression analysis is used to evaluate how energy use and CO2-eq emissions change when there is an increase in household expenditure on a certain commodity. Additionally, this study also provides an empirical contribution to the literature focused on understanding consumer behavior and options to change towards more sustainable consumer practices. In this research, three analyses have been performed. In the first one, the Spanish case is analyzed and it shows that energy use and CO2-eq emission are strongly linked to household expenditure. Subsequently, the Spanish consumption patterns are investigated with respect to the Swedish intensity factors (i.e. energy and GHG emissions). As an outcome, energy use linked to these consumption patterns is similar to the first study whereas GHG emissions would decrease by more than half if Spain had the Swedish production system. Finally, the Spanish and the Swedish cases are compared. Both countries have similar consumption patterns on average and on the margin; the former are dominated by housing and food products while the latter are dominated by mobility, luxury goods and leisure services. These patterns shift implies an increase by almost 0.9% in energy use and 0.85% in GHG emissions when income is increased by 1% for both countries. However, there are some small differences in the composition of consumption patterns in both countries that influence the total energy use: Swedish households use 27% more energy than Spanish households implying 15% more GHG emissions.