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Trade and the greenhouse gas emissions from international freight transport

Author

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  • Cristea, Anca
  • Hummels, David
  • Puzzello, Laura
  • Avetisyan, Misak

Abstract

We collect extensive data on worldwide trade by transportation mode and use this to provide detailed comparisons of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with output versus international transportation of traded goods. International transport is responsible for 33 percent of world-wide trade-related emissions, and over 75 percent of emissions for major manufacturing categories. Including transport dramatically changes the ranking of countries by emissions per dollar of trade. We systematically investigate whether trade inclusive of transport can lower emissions. In one quarter of cases, the difference in output emissions is more than enough to compensate for the emissions cost of transport. Finally, we examine how likely patterns of global trade growth will affect modal use and emissions. Full liberalization of tariffs and GDP growth concentrated in China and India lead to transport emissions growing much faster than the value of trade, due to trade shifting toward distant trading partners.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:65:y:2013:i:1:p:153-173
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2012.06.002
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Greenhouse gas emissions; International transport emissions; World trade growth; International trade by transport mode;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F17 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Forecasting and Simulation
    • F18 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Environment
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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