Globalisation has largely dispersed the environmental impacts of consumption across regions and actors through international trade and multiple processing stages. This increasing internationalisation of production chains demands adequate environmental-economic assessments.
We analysed the importance of international trade for embodied environmental impacts in the period 1995-2011 and discussed the main findings. Including discussion of multi-indicator analysis of globalisation, decoupling consumption and environmental impacts, environmental implications of outsourcing, and structural changes in national economies.
Our analysis allows for the exploration of overall environmental impacts but also associated socio-economic impacts and social welfare associated with consumption and trade. A main research focus is placed on socio-economic metabolism, specifically on socio-economic drivers for environmental impacts.
Politically sensitive issues include the off-shoring of emission intensive industries or land-use change in developing countries driven by consumption in developed countries. We further explore labour-related social indicators.