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Global outsourcing of carbon emissions 1995–2009: A reassessment

Baumert, Nicolai LU ; Kander, Astrid LU ; Jiborn, Magnus LU ; Kulionis, Viktoras LU and Nielsen, Tobias LU (2019) In Environmental Science and Policy 92. p.228-236
Abstract
Increasing global production fragmentation allows for outsourcing of emissions, which may undermine national climate policies. Researchers focusing on the gap between consumption-based and production-based emissions have concluded that developed countries are systematically outsourcing emissions to developing countries. However, asymmetries in emissions embodied in trade may emerge due to differences in carbon intensity of energy and production between different countries, and need not be evidence of outsourcing. This study investigates if previous results concerning emission in –and outsourcing of developed and developing countries hold when emission flows are adjusted for technological differences. Two striking results are demonstrated:... (More)
Increasing global production fragmentation allows for outsourcing of emissions, which may undermine national climate policies. Researchers focusing on the gap between consumption-based and production-based emissions have concluded that developed countries are systematically outsourcing emissions to developing countries. However, asymmetries in emissions embodied in trade may emerge due to differences in carbon intensity of energy and production between different countries, and need not be evidence of outsourcing. This study investigates if previous results concerning emission in –and outsourcing of developed and developing countries hold when emission flows are adjusted for technological differences. Two striking results are demonstrated: first, the magnitude of outsourcing is significantly smaller than previous studies have suggested, and, second, there is no clear divide between developing and developed countries. Large developed Anglophone countries (US, UK, Canada and Australia) were increasingly outsourcing emissions between 1995 and 2009 by shifting toward more carbon-intensive goods in their imports and less carbon intensive goods in exports, whereas other developed countries (i.e. the Nordics, advanced Asia and even the aggregate EU-27) maintained a positive emission trade balance. Among major developing countries, China is a major insourcer of emissions, while other emerging economies show no consistent pattern (e.g. India, Turkey and Brazil) or marginal outsourcing (e.g. Indonesia and Mexico). These results contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the impact of international trade on global carbon emissions. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Carbon leakage, Climate mitigation, Emission outsourcing, Input-output analysis, Emissions embodied in trade, Consumption-based accounting
in
Environmental Science and Policy
volume
92
pages
9 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85058134158
ISSN
1462-9011
DOI
10.1016/j.envsci.2018.10.010
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ccb0dd1c-f672-4d8d-a0f3-561ec0050c69
date added to LUP
2018-12-14 15:13:02
date last changed
2019-02-20 11:39:48
@article{ccb0dd1c-f672-4d8d-a0f3-561ec0050c69,
  abstract     = {Increasing global production fragmentation allows for outsourcing of emissions, which may undermine national climate policies. Researchers focusing on the gap between consumption-based and production-based emissions have concluded that developed countries are systematically outsourcing emissions to developing countries. However, asymmetries in emissions embodied in trade may emerge due to differences in carbon intensity of energy and production between different countries, and need not be evidence of outsourcing. This study investigates if previous results concerning emission in –and outsourcing of developed and developing countries hold when emission flows are adjusted for technological differences. Two striking results are demonstrated: first, the magnitude of outsourcing is significantly smaller than previous studies have suggested, and, second, there is no clear divide between developing and developed countries. Large developed Anglophone countries (US, UK, Canada and Australia) were increasingly outsourcing emissions between 1995 and 2009 by shifting toward more carbon-intensive goods in their imports and less carbon intensive goods in exports, whereas other developed countries (i.e. the Nordics, advanced Asia and even the aggregate EU-27) maintained a positive emission trade balance. Among major developing countries, China is a major insourcer of emissions, while other emerging economies show no consistent pattern (e.g. India, Turkey and Brazil) or marginal outsourcing (e.g. Indonesia and Mexico). These results contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the impact of international trade on global carbon emissions.},
  author       = {Baumert, Nicolai and Kander, Astrid and Jiborn, Magnus and Kulionis, Viktoras and Nielsen, Tobias},
  issn         = {1462-9011},
  keyword      = {Carbon leakage,Climate mitigation,Emission outsourcing,Input-output analysis,Emissions embodied in trade,Consumption-based accounting},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {228--236},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Environmental Science and Policy},
  title        = {Global outsourcing of carbon emissions 1995–2009: A reassessment},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2018.10.010},
  volume       = {92},
  year         = {2019},
}