Clarifying Demographic Impacts on Embodied and Materially Retained Carbon toward Climate Change Mitigation

Yosuke Shigetomi, Hajime Ohno, Andrew Chapman, Hidemichi Fujii, Keisuke Nansai, Yasuhiro Fukushima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Modern lifestyles demand a number of products derived from petroleum-based sources that eventually cause carbon emissions. The quantification of lifestyle and household consumption impacts upon carbon emissions from both the embodied CO2 (EC) and materially retained carbon (MRC) viewpoints is critical to deriving amelioration policies and meeting emission reduction goals. This study, for the first time, details a methodology to estimate both EC and MRC for Japan, focusing on petrochemicals and woody products utilizing the time series input-output table, physical value tables and the national survey of family income and expenditure, leveraging time series input-output-based material flow analysis (IO-MFA), and structural decomposition analysis (SDA). Findings elucidated hot spots of deleterious consumption by age of householder and the critical factors which underpin them including intensity effects, pattern effects, and demographic shifts over time. Although demographic shifts associated with an aging, shrinking population in Japan decreased EC and MRC, the negative effect reduced in size over time during 1990-2005. Policy implications identify the potential to mitigate approximately 21% of required household emission reductions by 2030 through strategies including recycling initiatives and the recovery of carbon from products covered within current recycling laws and hot spot sectors which are not currently considered such as apparel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14123-14133
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Dec 17 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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