Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Consumption, carbon emissions and international trade

Date:
May 9, 2011
Source:
Carnegie Institution
Summary:
Accurately calculating the amount of carbon dioxide emitted in the process of producing and bringing products to our doorsteps is nearly impossible, but still a worthwhile effort, two researchers claim in a commentary.

Accurately calculating the amount of carbon dioxide emitted in the process of producing and bringing products to our doorsteps is nearly impossible, but still a worthwhile effort, two Carnegie researchers claim in a commentary published online this week by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The Global Ecology department's Ken Caldeira and Steven Davis commend the work of industrial ecologist Glen Peters and colleagues, published in the same journal late last month, and use that team's data to do additional analysis on the disparity between emissions and consumption in different parts of the world.

Caldeira and Davis point out that carbon is released at many stages of the production process including the energy used in creating each component of a product, CO2 released in making the manufacturing equipment, and carbon released by vehicles transporting factory workers to and from their jobs.

"Very quickly, we see that nothing exists in isolation and that to understand how much emission can be related to any particular action, we must have a reasonable accounting system that allocates total CO2 emissions to specific actions," Caldeira said. "The accounting system must conform to our intuitions about how responsibility should be shared among participants in complex systems."

Caldeira and Davis say Peters and his team are leaders in asking questions about how much CO2 consumption in the United States and other developed countries -- used here to signify nations that made commitments under the Kyoto Protocol -- is supported by CO2 in developing countries.

The earlier PNAS-published study looked at the impact of goods and services that were consumed in developed countries, but produced in developing ones. Peters and team found decreased emissions in the former since 1990, and increased emissions in the latter. But when emissions from the production of goods were transferred to the place where the goods were consumed, then the trend in developed countries was reversed.

The Carnegie scientists took this data and broke it down in terms of per-capita and per-dollar gross domestic product. They found that on a per-capita basis the average person in developed countries is responsible for more CO2 emissions than his or her counterpart in the developing world. And the amount of CO2 emitted per dollar of GDP is improving at similar rates between the two categories.

Caldeira and Davis concluded that "the focus on territorial emissions … has perhaps led us to underemphasize the role of consumption of goods and services in driving these emissions. It is important to look at all drivers of emissions, as everyone along the supply chain has a vested interest in the benefits that accrue from our fossil-fueled global economy."


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Carnegie Institution. "Consumption, carbon emissions and international trade." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110509171856.htm>.
Carnegie Institution. (2011, May 9). Consumption, carbon emissions and international trade. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110509171856.htm
Carnegie Institution. "Consumption, carbon emissions and international trade." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110509171856.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) An Arkansas man has found a nearly 6.2-carat diamond, which he dubbed "The Limitless Diamond," at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) At least six Nepalese guides are dead after an avalanche swept the slopes of Mount Everest along a route used to climb the world's highest peak. (April 18) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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