• Responsibility allocation;
  • Greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Best available technology (BAT);
  • Decision making


In recent years, several methodologies have been developed for the quantification of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, determining who is responsible for these emissions is also quite challenging. The most common approach is to assign emissions to the producer (based on the Kyoto Protocol), but proposals also exist for its allocation to the consumer (based on an ecological footprint perspective) and for a hybrid approach called shared responsibility. In this study, the existing proposals and standards regarding the allocation of GHG emissions responsibilities are analyzed, focusing on their main advantages and problems. A new model of shared responsibility that overcomes some of the existing problems is also proposed. This model is based on applying the best available technologies (BATs). This new approach allocates the responsibility between the producers and the final consumers based on the real capacity of each agent to reduce emissions. The proposed approach is demonstrated using a simple case study of a 4-step life cycle of ammonia nitrate (AN) fertilizer production. The proposed model has the characteristics that the standards and publications for assignment of GHG emissions responsibilities demand. This study presents a new way to assign responsibilities that pushes all the actors in the production chain, including consumers, to reduce pollution. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2014;10:95–101. © 2013 SETAC