Quantcast
Climate
Pexels

Researchers Uncover 'New Phase of Globalization' With Major Climate Consequences

Research published Monday in Nature Communications raised concerns about how economic shifts in the developing world might impact global efforts to reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change.

Researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and partners in China and the U.S. identified a "new phase of globalization" as trade between developing countries, which they called South-South trade, increased by more than two times between 2004 and 2011.


Part of this shift has meant that high-emissions activities, such as the production of raw materials and intermediate goods, are moving from rapidly developing countries like China and India to lesser developed countries like Bangladesh and Vietnam, a move that could have serious consequences for the success of the Paris agreement.

The study found that while the carbon dioxide emissions of Chinese exports had either slowed their increase or decreased, the carbon dioxide emissions of exports from less developed countries had only increased.

"The carbon intensity of the next phase of global economic development will determine whether ambitious climate targets such as stabilizing at [two degrees Celsius] will be met, and our findings depict the nascent rise of energy-intensive and emissions-intensive production activities in other Asian countries such as Vietnam and Pakistan," professor in climate change economics at UEA's School of International Development Dabo Guan explained in a UEA press release

Guan raised the possibility that countries like China and India might meet their Paris commitments by outsourcing high-emissions activities to other, less developed countries with less ambitious commitments.

"Successfully mitigating climate change therefore urgently depends on decarbonising not only energy systems in developed countries but also the entire process of industrialization," Guan said.

According to the study's introduction, the process of moving production activities to less-developed countries increased after the financial crisis of 2008. Overall, between 2005 and 2015, international trade more than doubled, but South-South trade grew even faster, more than tripling in the same time period, accounting for more than 57 percent of all exports from developing countries by 2014.

To reach their conclusions, researchers compared data on international trade and carbon dioxide emissions from 2004, 2007 and 2011 and looked at the emissions generated by the manufacture of final and intermediate products by 57 sectors in 129 regions.

They found that the carbon dioxide emissions per unit of China's Gross Domestic Product decreased by 27 percent from 2004 to 2015 and that coal consumption in the country decreased by 6.5 percent between 2013 and 2015. On the other hand, coal consumption increased in India by 9.3 percent and by 10 percent in other Asian countries during the same period.

Overall, the carbon dioxide emissions generated by exported goods and services from developing countries rose by 46 percent between 2004 and 2011, and emissions generated by South-South trade grew more quickly than emissions generated by exports to developed countries.

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Popular
The Revelator

Interactive Map: Air Pollution in 2100

By Dipika Kadaba

Having a little trouble breathing lately? That's no surprise. Air pollution is already bad in many parts of the country, and climate change is only going to make it worse. Even though many industries are reducing their emissions, a warming climate could actually offset these reductions by intensifying the rates of chemical reactions and accumulation of pollutants in the environment.

Keep reading... Show less
Health
ddukang / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good for You? A Doctor Weighs In

By Gabriel Neal

When my brother and I were kids back in the '80s, we loved going to Long John Silver's.

Keep reading... Show less
Animals

Dumpster Debacle Distracts From Serious Spike in Whale Deaths

This week, a video of a failed attempt to put a dead, 4,000-pound whale into a tiny dumpster made the rounds on the internet, garnering chuckles and comparisons to Peter Griffin forklifting and impaling a beached sperm whale on Family Guy.

The juvenile minke whale washed up on Jenness Beach in Rye, New Hampshire on Monday morning, NBC 10 Boston reported. It was found with entanglement wounds, so researchers with the Seacoast Science Center and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) wanted to move the carcass from the beach to a lab for a necropsy to study its death.

Keep reading... Show less
Adventure
Muir Woods, which costs $10 for entry, will have free entry on Sept. 22. m01229 / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

Visit Any National Park for Free This Saturday to Celebrate 25th National Public Lands Day

If you're stuck for plans this weekend, we suggest escaping your city or town for the great outdoors.

This Saturday marks the 25th National Public Lands Day, organized by the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF).

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Climate
A glacier flows towards East Antarctica. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / CC BY 2.0

Temperatures Possible This Century Could Melt Parts of East Antarctic Ice Sheet, Raise Sea Levels 10+ Feet

A section of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet that contains three to four meters (approximately 10 to 13 feet) of potential sea level rise could melt if temperatures rise to just two degrees above pre-industrial levels, a study published in Nature Wednesday found.

Researchers at Imperial College London, the University of Queensland, and other institutions in New Zealand, Japan and Spain looked at marine sediments to assess the behavior of the Wilkes Subglacial Basin during warmer periods of the Pleistocene and found evidence of melting when temperatures in Antarctica were at least two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels for periods of 2,500 years or more.

Keep reading... Show less
Energy
Oil well in North Dakota. Tim Evanson / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Pipeline Leaks 63,840 Gallons of Produced Water in North Dakota

A pipeline released 63,840 gallons (1,520 barrels) of produced water that contaminated rangeland in Dunn County, North Dakota, the Bismarck Tribune reported, citing officials with the North Dakota Department of Health.

Produced water is a byproduct of oil and gas extraction, and can contain drilling chemicals if fracking was used.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Insights
Residents stand in a long queue to fill water containers on May 27 in Shimla, India. Deepak Sansta / Hindustan Times / Getty Images

World Peace Requires Access to Safe Water

International Peace Day is Sept. 21. Mekela Panditharatne, attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, submitted the following op-ed to EcoWatch in commemoration.

In drought-ravaged East Africa, the cracks in the plains echo the fault lines splitting tribes.

Across the globe, the devastation of deadly brawls is being exacerbated by tensions over access to water. Water crises, often worsened by governance failures, can portend warning signs for instability and conflict. This year, the World Resources Institute cautioned that water stress is growing globally, "with 33 countries projected to face extremely high stress in 2040." The effects of such water stress span the gamut from civil unrest to open warfare.

Keep reading... Show less
Food

How Your Personality Type Could Influence Your Food Choices

By Melissa Kravitz

"You are what you eat" may be one of the oldest sayings ever to be repeated around the dinner table, but can you also eat what you are?

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!