We estimate the carbon intensity of industries, products, and households in South Africa. Direct and indirect carbon usage is measured using multiplier methods that capture inter-industry linkages and multi-product supply chains. Carbon intensity is found to be high for exports but low for major employing sectors. Middle-income households are the most carbon-intensive consumers. These results suggest that carbon pricing policies (without border tax adjustments) would adversely affect export earnings, but should not disproportionately hurt workers or poorer households. 7per cent of emissions arise though marketing margins, implying that carbon pricing should be accompanied by supporting public policies and investments.
Arndt, C.; Davies, R.; Makrelov, K.; Thurlow, J. Measuring the Carbon Content of the South African Economy. UNU-WIDER, Helsinki, Finland (2011) 29 pp. ISBN 978-92-9230-412-6 [WIDER Working Paper No. 2011/45]