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      Growth in emission transfers via international trade from 1990 to 2008.

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          Abstract

          Despite the emergence of regional climate policies, growth in global CO(2) emissions has remained strong. From 1990 to 2008 CO(2) emissions in developed countries (defined as countries with emission-reduction commitments in the Kyoto Protocol, Annex B) have stabilized, but emissions in developing countries (non-Annex B) have doubled. Some studies suggest that the stabilization of emissions in developed countries was partially because of growing imports from developing countries. To quantify the growth in emission transfers via international trade, we developed a trade-linked global database for CO(2) emissions covering 113 countries and 57 economic sectors from 1990 to 2008. We find that the emissions from the production of traded goods and services have increased from 4.3 Gt CO(2) in 1990 (20% of global emissions) to 7.8 Gt CO(2) in 2008 (26%). Most developed countries have increased their consumption-based emissions faster than their territorial emissions, and non-energy-intensive manufacturing had a key role in the emission transfers. The net emission transfers via international trade from developing to developed countries increased from 0.4 Gt CO(2) in 1990 to 1.6 Gt CO(2) in 2008, which exceeds the Kyoto Protocol emission reductions. Our results indicate that international trade is a significant factor in explaining the change in emissions in many countries, from both a production and consumption perspective. We suggest that countries monitor emission transfers via international trade, in addition to territorial emissions, to ensure progress toward stabilization of global greenhouse gas emissions.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
          Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
          Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
          1091-6490
          0027-8424
          May 24 2011
          : 108
          : 21
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Center for International Climate and Environmental Research-Oslo, N-0318 Oslo, Norway. glen.peters@cicero.uio.no
          Article
          1006388108
          10.1073/pnas.1006388108
          3102371
          21518879
          10501ff3-65fb-497c-bac3-2fc8faa7be56
          History

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