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Evaluating carbon dioxide emissions in international trade of China

  • Lin, Boqiang
  • Sun, Chuanwang
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    China is the world's largest emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2). As exports account for about one-third of China's GDP, the CO2 emissions are related to not only China's own consumption but also external demand. Using the input-output analysis (IOA), we analyze the embodied CO2 emissions of China's import and export. Our results show that about 3357 million tons CO2 emissions were embodied in the exports and the emissions avoided by imports (EAI) were 2333 million tons in 2005. The average contribution to embodied emission factors by electricity generation was over 35%. And that by cement production was about 20%. It implies that the production-based emissions of China are more than the consumption-based emissions, which is evidence that carbon leakage occurs under the current climate policies and international trade rules. In addition to the call for a new global framework to allocate emission responsibilities, China should make great efforts to improve its energy efficiency, carry out electricity pricing reforms and increase renewable energy. In particular, to use advanced technology in cement production will be helpful to China's CO2 abatement.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

    Volume (Year): 38 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 613-621

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:1:p:613-621
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    1. Glen Peters & Edgar Hertwich, 2006. "Structural analysis of international trade: Environmental impacts of Norway," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(2), pages 155-181.
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    5. Weber, Christopher L. & Peters, Glen P. & Guan, Dabo & Hubacek, Klaus, 2008. "The contribution of Chinese exports to climate change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 3572-3577, September.
    6. Munksgaard, Jesper & Pedersen, Klaus Alsted, 2001. "CO2 accounts for open economies: producer or consumer responsibility?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 327-334, March.
    7. Suri, Vivek & Chapman, Duane, 1998. "Economic growth, trade and energy: implications for the environmental Kuznets curve," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 195-208, May.
    8. Nadim Ahmad & Andrew Wyckoff, 2003. "Carbon Dioxide Emissions Embodied in International Trade of Goods," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2003/15, OECD Publishing.
    9. Leontief, Wassily, 1970. "Environmental Repercussions and the Economic Structure: An Input-Output Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 52(3), pages 262-71, August.
    10. Shui, Bin & Harriss, Robert C., 2006. "The role of CO2 embodiment in US-China trade," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(18), pages 4063-4068, December.
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