When someone in the States buys shoes that were made in China, the carbon emitted in their production gets added to China's tally, despite the...
When someone in the States buys shoes that were made in China, the carbon emitted in their production gets added to China's tally, despite the fact that the shoes get exported. What would it look like if carbon emissions traveled with products and services as they moved from country to country? Check out the map above.Those arrows show the megatons of carbon and the direction of export. You can think of them as arrows of guilt. China, for example, emits 395 megatons of carbon making things for consumers in the States. The countries in red are the net importers of carbon and the countries in blue are the net exporters.From CBC News:
Reserachers at the Carnegie Institution used trade data from 2004 to create a model of the global flow of products in 113 countries and regions. They then associated those products with carbon emissions to determine which countries are net "importers" of emissions and which are net "exporters.""Just like the electricity that you use in your home probably causes CO2 emissions at a coal-burning power plant somewhere else, we found that the products imported by the developed countries of western Europe, Japan, and the United States cause substantial emissions in other countries, especially China," said the study's lead author Steven Davis of Carnegie, in a statement.In Copenhagen it was hard getting counties to agree to domestic emissions limits. But as this map shows, looking at domestic emissions is a simplistic way of accounting for the responsibility of carbon. In our entangled global economy, we need a more holistic approach.