Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

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

Climate
Pexels

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.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

An aerial view of a crude oil storage facility of Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) in the Krasnodar Territory. Vitaly Timkiv / TASS / Getty Images

Oil rigs around the world keep pulling crude oil out of the ground, but the global pandemic has sent shockwaves into the market. The supply is up, but demand has plummeted now that industry has ground to a halt, highways are empty, and airplanes are parked in hangars.

Read More Show Less
Examples (from left) of a lead pipe, a corroded steel pipe and a lead pipe treated with protective orthophosphate. U.S. EPA Region 5

Under an agreement negotiated by community groups — represented by NRDC and the Pennsylvania Utility Law Project — the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) will remove thousands of lead water pipes by 2026 in order to address the chronically high lead levels in the city's drinking water and protect residents' health.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
ROBYN BECK / AFP / Getty Images

By Dave Cooke

So, they finally went and did it — the Trump administration just finalized a rule to undo requirements on manufacturers to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new passenger cars and trucks. Even with the economy at the brink of a recession, they went forward with a policy they know is bad for consumers — their own analysis shows that American drivers are going to spend hundreds of dollars more in fuel as a result of this stupid policy — but they went ahead and did it anyway.

Read More Show Less

By Richard Connor

A blood test that screens for more than 50 types of cancer could help doctors treat patients at an earlier stage than previously possible, a new study shows. The method was used to screen for more than 50 types of cancer — including particularly deadly variants such as pancreatic, ovarian, bowel and brain.

Read More Show Less
Ian Sane / Flickr

Preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control showed a larger number of young people coming down with COVID-19 than first expected, with patients under the age of 45 comprising more than a third of all cases, and one in five of those patients requiring hospitalization. That also tends to be the group most likely to use e-cigarettes.

Read More Show Less