Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rising U.S. Trade May Hinder Future Global Efforts To Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Date:
June 15, 2007
Source:
Carnegie Mellon University
Summary:
Engineering researchers argue that rising US trade with countries like China has major consequences for the future of global climate change. Researchers describe how the U.S. has reduced its increasing carbon emissions by importing more carbon-intensive goods from other countries.

Carnegie Mellon University engineering researchers Christopher L. Weber and Scott H. Matthews argue that rising U.S. trade with countries like China has major consequences for the future of global climate policy. In a June 2007 research paper published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, the Carnegie Mellon researchers describe how the U.S. has reduced its increasing carbon emissions by importing more carbon-intensive goods from other countries.

For example, the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions generated from making a desktop computer in China could be up to three times higher than when the same desktop computer is made in the U.S., according to the Carnegie Mellon study. In total, the authors estimate that CO2 emissions associated with imports rose from 12 percent of total U.S. emissions in 1997 to 22 percent in 2004, a substantial increase given that the U.S. already emits around 25 percent of the world's total global carbon dioxide.

"These emissions are only going to increase as the United States continues to consume more and more essential goods from outside its borders," said Matthews, an associate professor in the departments of civil and environmental engineering and engineering and public policy. And because the U.S. continues to import more goods from carbon-intensive trading partners, the researchers conclude this trend is likely to continue in the short term, without major efforts toward efficiency gains and cleaner development in the emerging industrial economies. Weber and Matthews urge the U.S. and other developed countries to agree to further reduction of greenhouse gases.

Last week, the U.S. did remove a major obstacle to an international agreement when President Bush reversed a longstanding policy and called on the world's largest greenhouse gas emitters, including China and India, to discuss future reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. President Bush has long held the view that emerging economies, such as China and India, should join the developed economies in requiring emission reductions.

"Complicating the problem is the need to temper how we deal with emerging countries," said Matthews. "To ask the developing countries to lower emissions too early, too abruptly will hinder their development and hamper their efforts to achieve industrialization and modernization."

As global trade continues to expand, issues of trade and emissions will continue to grow in importance. Many researchers have questioned how emissions associated with traded goods should be accounted for.

"The central question is one of responsibility," said Weber, a graduate researcher in the departments of civil and environmental engineering and engineering and public policy. "Over the last decade, the United States' share of global carbon emissions has gone down and China's has gone up. However, if you count not by who makes the goods, but by who consumes the goods, the United States' share of responsibility has stayed constant or even gone up. However, these emissions are not counted because they've been outsourced to other countries."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Carnegie Mellon University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Carnegie Mellon University. "Rising U.S. Trade May Hinder Future Global Efforts To Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 June 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070614111552.htm>.
Carnegie Mellon University. (2007, June 15). Rising U.S. Trade May Hinder Future Global Efforts To Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070614111552.htm
Carnegie Mellon University. "Rising U.S. Trade May Hinder Future Global Efforts To Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070614111552.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Powerful Hurricane Gonzalo Heads to Bermuda

Raw: Powerful Hurricane Gonzalo Heads to Bermuda

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) Hurricane Gonzalo pounded Bermuda with wind and heavy surf on Friday, bearing down on the tiny British territory as a powerful Category 3 storm that could raise coastal seas as much as 10 feet. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) Researchers believe an extinct kangaroo species weighed 500 pounds or more and couldn't hop. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Gonzalo Is A Category 4 And Heading To Bermuda

Hurricane Gonzalo Is A Category 4 And Heading To Bermuda

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) Powerful hurricane could hit Bermuda this weekend, and even if it misses it will likely do some damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Largest Volcano In Centuries Is Spewing Toxic Gas

The Largest Volcano In Centuries Is Spewing Toxic Gas

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) One of the largest volcanic eruptions in centuries is occurring on Iceland. The volcano Bardarbunga is producing high levels of sulfur dioxide. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins