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Commentary to “Ac-counting for carbon emissions: simulating absence through experimental sites of material politics”

Pedro Cabral Santiago Faria (Technical Leadership Team, CDP, London, UK)

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal

ISSN: 2040-8021

Article publication date: 29 October 2019

Issue publication date: 23 April 2020




This paper aims to elaborate on the concept of avoided emissions, as a topical issue in the carbon accounting debate, both in practice and in academia. It is a commentary on the paper by Revellino (2019) who analyses an avoided emissions technology in the transport sector.


This is a commentary based on secondary data analysis.


This commentary reviews the history of quantification for avoided emissions and elaborates on three major challenges that project using “avoided emissions” face. This commentary is also a reflection on why avoided emissions calculations are needed in a world of transition, and how this leads to the concept being used and abused while being central to the building of new foundations.

Practical implications

The commentary flags a few areas that could be research focus areas in future.

Social implications

This paper can lead to changes in the public perception of “avoided emissions” and corporate claims around emission avoidance.


This commentary outlines clear avenues for research, asking notably to reflect on the acceptable uses and acceptable claims related to avoided emissions.



Faria, P.C.S. (2020), "Commentary to “Ac-counting for carbon emissions: simulating absence through experimental sites of material politics”", Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 641-650.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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