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The shift of embodied energy flows among the Global South and Global North in the post-globalisation era

27 February 2024

Authors: Yu Yang, Yannan Zhou, Yuli Shan, Klaus Hubacek

Journal: Energy Economics


Concerns about the energy associated with the manufacturing of a product or service or so-called embodied energy in international trade have been increasing due to global energy shortages and environmental degradation. With globalisation slowing, the shifting global spatial patterns and driving forces of energy embodied in international trade deserve deeper investigation. Using the most up-to-date multi-regional input-output database (GTAP 11), we analyse the spatial pattern and driving forces of change for energy embodied in international trade among the Global North and South, namely developed and developing countries, from 2000 to 2019. The results show that North-North trade dominates global embodied energy transfers, although its dominance is waning. The growth of embodied energy transfers is shifting from South-North to South-South trade. Yet the difference in embodied energy transfers between the Global South to Global North remains huge. In further parsing the drivers behind embodied energy transfers, we find that the scale of trade was the primary driver of growth in global embodied energy transfers, but its effect was fading and even had a weak negative effect

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Last modified:27 February 2024 09.14 a.m.

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