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Targeted opportunities to address the climate-trade dilemma in China
John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, United States.
University of California, Irvine, Department of Earth System Science, Irvine, CA, United States.
Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, United States.
Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, United States.
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2016 (English)In: Nature Climate Change, ISSN 1758-678X, Vol. 6, no 2, 201-206 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
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Abstract [en]

International trade has become the fastest growing driver of global carbon emissions, with large quantities of emissions embodied in exports from emerging economies. International trade with emerging economies poses a dilemma for climate and trade policy: to the extent emerging markets have comparative advantages in manufacturing, such trade is economically efficient and desirable. However, if carbon-intensive manufacturing in emerging countries such as China entails drastically more CO 2 emissions than making the same product elsewhere, then trade increases global CO 2 emissions. Here we show that the emissions embodied in Chinese exports, which are larger than the annual emissions of Japan or Germany, are primarily the result of China's coal-based energy mix and the very high emissions intensity (emission per unit of economic value) in a few provinces and industry sectors. Exports from these provinces and sectors therefore represent targeted opportunities to address the climate-trade dilemma by either improving production technologies and decarbonizing the underlying energy systems or else reducing trade volumes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 6, no 2, 201-206 p.
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Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-30992DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2800ISI: 000370963400024Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84955605966OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-30992DiVA: diva2:902614
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Available from: 2016-02-11 Created: 2016-02-11 Last updated: 2016-03-17Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
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