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CO2 emissions of international freight transport and offshoring: Measurement and allocation

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  • Cadarso, María-Ángeles
  • López, Luis-Antonio
  • Gómez, Nuria
  • Tobarra, María-Ángeles

Abstract

The growing offshoring process is the result of the fragmentation of production processes and the creation of global supply chains. This process has increased final and intermediate imports, but also the distance that goods travel in different stages until they reach the final consumer, as well as the requirements of transport per unit of output and the volume of CO2 emissions generated in transporting them. Nowadays, there is no generally accepted criterion for international transport pollution allocation. No single country has the responsibility for emissions of international bunkers provided by IPCC. In this paper we propose a new methodology for quantifying by sector the impact of international freight transport on total pollution and assigning responsibility to consumers. This methodology considers the distance and the means of transport as key elements and uses input-output methodology. We apply this to the Spanish economy combining data from input-output tables, import data, and CO2 emission data. The results show that the proportion of total CO2 emissions accounted for by emissions from international freight transportation, allocated via the consumer criterion, increase up to 4.16% between 1995 and 2000. As expected, the industries where this offshoring process is more intense show the greatest increases in carbon emissions related to international transport. These emissions are significantly higher than emissions embodied in domestic inputs in some of those industries where international fragmentation of production is relevant and increasing.

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  • Cadarso, María-Ángeles & López, Luis-Antonio & Gómez, Nuria & Tobarra, María-Ángeles, 2010. "CO2 emissions of international freight transport and offshoring: Measurement and allocation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(8), pages 1682-1694, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:8:p:1682-1694
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    Cited by:

    1. Cristea, Anca & Hummels, David & Puzzello, Laura & Avetisyan, Misak, 2013. "Trade and the greenhouse gas emissions from international freight transport," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 153-173.
    2. Anderson, Blake & M'Gonigle, Michael, 2012. "Does ecological economics have a future?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 37-48.
    3. Zafrilla, Jorge Enrique & López, Luis Antonio & Cadarso, María Ángeles & Dejuán, Óscar, 2012. "Fulfilling the Kyoto protocol in Spain: A matter of economic crisis or environmental policies?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 708-719.
    4. de Melo, Jaime & Mathys, Nicole Andréa, 2010. "Trade and Climate Change: The Challenges Ahead," CEPR Discussion Papers 8032, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    7. López, Luis Antonio & Arce, Guadalupe & Zafrilla, Jorge Enrique, 2013. "Parcelling virtual carbon in the pollution haven hypothesis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 177-186.
    8. Cadarso, María-Ángeles & López, Luis-Antonio & Gómez, Nuria & Tobarra, María-Ángeles, 2012. "International trade and shared environmental responsibility by sector. An application to the Spanish economy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 221-235.
    9. Michel, Bernhard, 2013. "Does offshoring contribute to reducing domestic air emissions? Evidence from Belgian manufacturing," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 73-82.
    10. Palak, Gökçe & Ekşioğlu, Sandra Duni & Geunes, Joseph, 2014. "Analyzing the impacts of carbon regulatory mechanisms on supplier and mode selection decisions: An application to a biofuel supply chain," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 198-216.
    11. Mona Haddad & Ben Shepherd, 2011. "Managing Openness : Trade and Outward-oriented Growth After the Crisis," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2283, 05-2018.
    12. Frank Vöhringer & Jean-Marie Grether & Nicole A. Mathys, 2013. "Trade and Climate Policies: Do Emissions from International Transport Matter?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(3), pages 280-302, March.
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    14. Arce, Guadalupe & López, Luis Antonio & Guan, Dabo, 2016. "Carbon emissions embodied in international trade: The post-China era," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 184(C), pages 1063-1072.
    15. Choudhary, Alok & Suman, Ravi & Dixit, Vijaya & Tiwari, M.K. & Fernandes, Kiran Jude & Chang, Pei-Chann, 2015. "An optimization model for a monopolistic firm serving an environmentally conscious market: Use of chemical reaction optimization algorithm," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 409-420.
    16. Matthew A. COLE & Robert R.J. ELLIOTT & OKUBO Toshihiro & Liyun ZHANG, 2017. "The Pollution Outsourcing Hypothesis: An empirical test for Japan," Discussion papers 17096, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

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