News Column

China: UK and US 'outsourcing their carbon pollution'

January 20, 2014

Suzanne Goldenberg



The world's richest countries, including the UK and US, are increasingly outsourcing their carbon pollution to China and other rising economies, according to a draft UN report. Outsourcing of emissions comes in the form of electronic devices such as smartphones and cheap clothes manufactured in China and other rising economies but consumed in the US and Europe.

A draft of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, obtained by the Guardian, says emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases grew twice as fast in the first decade of the 21st century as they did during the previous three decades. Much of that rise was due to the burning of coal. And much of that coal was used to power factories in China and other rising economies that produce goods for US and European consumers.

Since 2000, carbon dioxide emissions for China and the other rising economies have more than doubled to nearly 14 gigatonnes a year, according to the draft report. But about 2 GT a year of that was produced making goods for export.

The picture is similar for other rising economies producing goods for export, the report found. Suzanne Goldenberg



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Source: Guardian (UK)


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