Climate action plans track greenhouse gas emissions using an "activity-based" accounting method which only counts emissions that are released within the geographic boundary of a jurisdiction (such as Sonoma County) and neglects emissions released elsewhere that were required to produce or transport the goods and services consumed by County residents.
For example, the greenhouse gas emissions associated with a new hot tub, refrigerator, or travel trailer sold in Sonoma County are neglected.
"Consumption-based" emissions are in contrast to "activity-based" emissions. A "consumption-based" inventory for Sonoma County includes the emissions associated with all of the food, goods, and services and out-of-county travel for which County residents are responsible. Consumption-based accounting shows that countywide emissions are over twice are large as activity-based inventories suggest.