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Article in Nature: Carbon and health implications of trade restrictions | Klaus Hubacek

05 November 2019

Authors: Jintai Lin, Mingxi Du, Lulu Chen, Kuishuang Feng, Yu Liu, Randall V. Martin, Jingxu Wang, Ruijing Ni, Yu Zhao, Hao Kong, Hongjian Weng, Mengyao Liu, Aaron van Donkelaar, Qiuyu Liu & Klaus Hubacek.

Nature Communications volume 10, Article number: 4947 (2019)


In a globalized economy, production of goods can be disrupted by trade disputes. Yet the resulting impacts on carbon dioxide emissions and ambient particulate matter (PM2.5) related premature mortality are unclear. Here we show that in contrast to a free trade world, with the emission intensity in each sector unchanged, an extremely anti-trade scenario with current tariffs plus an additional 25% tariff on each traded product would reduce the global export volume by 32.5%, gross domestic product by 9.0%, carbon dioxide by 6.3%, and PM2.5-related mortality by 4.1%. The respective impacts would be substantial for the United States, Western Europe and China. A freer trade scenario would increase global carbon dioxide emission and air pollution due to higher levels of production, especially in developing regions with relatively high emission intensities. Global collaborative actions to reduce emission intensities in developing regions could help achieve an economic-environmental win-win state through globalization.

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Read full article at Nature communications.

Last modified:19 July 2022 4.28 p.m.

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