Climate Exchange Strikes China Emissions Trading Deal

by | Aug 1, 2008

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chinaflag1.jpgReuters reports that Climate Exchange announced  a pact with Chinese National Petroleum Corp. Assets Management and Tianjin City to begin an emissions trading business in China.

China became the nation with the largest carbon footprint in 2007, nearly doubling its GHG emissions over a five year span. As of 2005, the most recent year for which data are available, China spewed out 1.7 billion metric tons of GHG annually.

But a new study by Christopher L. Weber of Carnegie Mellon University and researchers in Norway and Britain, has found that more than 40 percent of China’s GHG emissions are incurred elsewhere. Weber contends this could be a good thing for global climate, depending on how energy- and resource-efficient China’s suppliers are.

He told Science News that “because China is a really coal-intensive economy and not that energy efficient, the [GHG] emissions it avoids by not producing those imports are higher than the emissions that may have actually been produced delivering those imports.”

Science News writes that the study’s attention to China’s imports, the raw materials that go into making steel and other constructed goods, sets it apart from others.

For example the computers that China exports tend to reflect assembly of parts made elsewhere, putting the GHG emissions associated with those components on someone else’s carbon-balance sheet.

The study shows that from 1987 to 2005, GHG emissions avoided by China as a result of buying imports has soared from a little more than 19 percent to 44 percent of the total.

The new analysis by Weber’s group due to appear in an upcoming Energy Policy also found that one-thirds of China’s GHG emissions are from producing goods that are exported to industrialized countries.

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