September 25, 2011

Who Should Bear the Cost of China’s Carbon Emissions Embodied in Goods for Exports_

by ZhongXiang Zhang

- While estimates of the embedded CO2 emissions in China’s trade differ, both single country studies for China and global studies show a hefty chunk of China’s CO2 emissions embedded in trade. This portion of CO2 emissions had helped to turn China into the world’s largest carbon emitter, and is further widening its gap with the second largest emitter. This raises the issue of who should be responsible for this portion of emissions and bearing the carbon cost of exports. China certainly wants importers to cover some, if not all, of those costs. While China’s stance is understandable, this paper has argued from a broad and balanced perspective that if this is pushed too far, it will not help to find solutions to this issue.

ZhongXiang, Zhang (2011). "Who Should Bear the Cost of China’s Carbon Emissions Embodied in Goods for Exports?" FEEM Note di lavoro No. 71.2011, Sept 2011.