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Drivers of the Growth in Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Arto, I. & Dietzenbacher, E., 20-May-2014, In : Environmental science & technology. 48, 10, p. 5388-5394 7 p.

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  • Drivers of the Growth in Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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DOI

Greenhouse gas emissions increased by 8.9 Gigatons CO2 equivalent (Gt) in the period 1995-2008. A phenomenon that has received due attention is the upsurge of emission transfers via international trade. A question that has remained unanswered is whether trade changes have affected global emissions. For each of five factors (one of which is trade changes) in 40 countries we quantify its contribution to the growth in global emissions. We find that the changes in the levels of consumption per capita have led to an enormous growth in emissions (+14.0 Gt). This effect was partly offset by the changes in technology (-8.4 Gt). Smaller effects are found for population growth (+4.2 Gt) and changes in the composition of the consumption (-1.5 Gt). Changes in the trade structure had a very moderate effect on global emissions (+0.6 Gt). Looking at the geographical distribution, changes in the emerging economies (Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia and China) have caused 44% of emission growth whereas the increase in their national emissions accounted for 59% of emission growth. This means that 15% (1.4 Gt) of all extra GHG emissions between 1995 and 2008 have been emitted in emerging countries but were caused by changes in other countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5388-5394
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental science & technology
Volume48
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 20-May-2014

    Keywords

  • GROWING CO2 EMISSIONS, INTERNATIONAL-TRADE, DECOMPOSITION ANALYSIS, WATER FOOTPRINT, CONSUMPTION, POLLUTION, CHINA, DISPLACEMENT, TRANSFERS, NATIONS

ID: 13174834