Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. 24/7 Space News .




CLIMATE SCIENCE
Constraining world trade is unlikely to help the climate
by Staff Writers
Potsdam, Germany (SPX) Sep 26, 2012


Without world trade, the emission of greenhouse gases in countries like China could potentially be even higher than today, according to the study. Western countries often export goods like machines that need a lot of energy in the production process. Usually, this energy stems from comparatively clean production processes. On the other hand, China produces a lot of export goods like toys, whose production needs relatively little energy, but stems from emission-intensive coal power plants.

Instead, researchers were able to pin down a number of factors explaining the pronounced imbalances between emission importers and exporters, the US current account deficit being one of them. Their conclusion: interventions in world trade, like CO2 tariffs, would probably have only a small impact on global emissions.

Steadily growing world trade leads - as earlier research has shown - to a substantial transfer of CO2 from one country to another. The traded goods effectively contain the greenhouse gas, as it originates from the energy used during their production.

"Typically, in the West we import goods whose production causes a lot of greenhouse gas emissions in poorer countries - and it is a contested question to which countries these emissions should be attributed," explains Michael Jakob from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), one of the authors.

This is a delicate issue, because many Western countries have ambitious targets for emissions reductions. Simply transferring emission-intensive industries to third countries in order to achieve these goals would not serve climate protection - and might even damage the economy.

Almost half of the CO2 transfers into the US are caused by the American trade deficit

"For the first time, we have now broken down the known emission transfers into their components," Jakob says. The economic analysis is based on an evaluation of estimates that were determined by other researchers in earlier studies.

"We can show that of the CO2 flowing into the US in form of imported goods, almost 50 per cent are due to the American trade deficit alone," Jakob explains. The US emits less CO2 in the production of its exports than is contained in its imports, simply because it imports more than it exports.

"And only about 20 per cent of CO2 transfers from China into the US can be traced back to the fact that China is in effect relatively more specialized in the production of dirty goods," Jakob says. But this is the only driver of emission transfers on which the currently controversially discussed climate tariffs could take effect.

Without world trade, the emission of greenhouse gases in countries like China could potentially be even higher than today, according to the study. Western countries often export goods like machines that need a lot of energy in the production process. Usually, this energy stems from comparatively clean production processes. On the other hand, China produces a lot of export goods like toys, whose production needs relatively little energy, but stems from emission-intensive coal power plants.

If China with its fossil energy mix had to produce more energy-intensive goods itself instead of importing them, emissions would increase. "In the end, interventions in world trade could do more harm than good," says co-author Robert Marschinski from PIK and Technische Universitat Berlin.

"The crucial question is how clean or how dirty national energy production is in each case"

"Crucial for CO2 transfers is not only world trade, but also the question of how clean or dirty national energy production is in each case," Marschinski emphasizes. To look only at CO2 transfers could be misleading. If for instance the European Union were to adopt new low emission production methods, its net imports of CO2 could increase even though there is no relocation of production.

"To really justify trade-policy interventions like the much discussed CO2 tariffs, further analysis would be needed - the observed CO2 transfers alone are not enough as a basis," Marschinski explains. "Such measures cannot replace what it really takes: more international cooperation."

Binding global climate targets could give incentives for investors to promote low-emission technologies. Innovations in efficiency could get financial support, and regional emission trading systems could be linked with each other, Marschinski says. "All this could help to achieve climate protection targets in an economically reasonable way."

Jakob, M., Marschinski, R. (2012): Interpreting trade-related CO2 emission transfers. Nature Climate Change [DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1630] (Advance Online Publication)

.


Related Links
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
Climate Science News - Modeling, Mitigation Adaptation






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





CLIMATE SCIENCE
Global warming slows down world economy: report
New York (AFP) Sept 25, 2012
Climate change caused by global warming is slowing down world economic output by 1.6 percent a year and will lead to a doubling of costs in the next two decades, a major new report said Tuesday. The DARA and Climate Vulnerable Forum report, which was commissioned by 20 governments and due to be presented on Wednesday in New York, paints a grim picture of the economic fallout of climate chang ... read more


CLIMATE SCIENCE
China has no timetable for manned moon landing

Senior scientist discusses China's lunar orbiter challenges

NASA sees 'gateway' for space missions

Protection for Moon, Mars astronauts eyed

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Why Curiosity Matters

Robotic Arm Tools Get to Work

NASA Mars Rover Targets Unusual Rock Enroute to First Destination

Curiosity's Stars and Stripes

CLIMATE SCIENCE
B612 Wins Funding Support From Prominent Business Leadersy

Cavenauts return to Earth

Brazil unveils tax incentives to boost tech innovation

New Technology Being Stymied by Copyright Law

CLIMATE SCIENCE
China Spacesat gets 18-million-USD gov't support

Tiangong Orbit Change Signals Likely Date for Shenzhou 10

China Focus: Timeline for China's space research revealed

China eyes next lunar landing as US scales back

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Crew Members Prepare for Departure

ISS Crew Lands Safely in Kazakhstan

ISS Crew Enjoys Light Duty Day

Europe's ATV-3 Spacecraft to Readjust Space Station's Orbit

CLIMATE SCIENCE
California Governor Signs the Spaceflight Liability and Immunity Act

Processing is underway with the next Automated Transfer Vehicle to be orbited by Arianespace

Fueling underway with the Galileo satellites for next Soyuz launch from French Guiana

SpaceX, NASA Target Oct. 7 Launch For Resupply Mission To Space Station

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Meteors Might Add Methane to Exoplanet Atmospheres

Two 'hot Jupiters' found in star cluster: NASA

Planets Can Form in the Galactic Center

Birth of a planet

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Northrop Grumman Completes Field Installations of New B-2 Radar System

Setback for Lynas rare earths plant

Retailers to add radical 'focus later' camera

New California Law Boosts Sustainable Materials Industry




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement