Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2010, Vol. 1 ›› Issue (2): 155-163.DOI: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-764x.2010.02.007

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Carbon Emission Transfer by International Trade: Taking the Case of Sino-U.S. Merchandise Trade as an Example

YU Huichao1,2,  WANG Limao1   

  1. 1 Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2 Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2009-12-22 Revised:2010-03-25 Online:2010-06-30 Published:2010-06-30
  • Contact: WANG Limao

Abstract: China and the United States are both countries with huge carbon emission, and the volume of trade between them is large. Due to the differences in natural resources, technology, equipment and energy use efficiency, there is a large carbon emission transfer from the United States to China by Sino-U.S. merchandise trade. This paper adopts the input-output analysis method, and combines the systems of economy, energy consumption and trade to establish a carbon emission transfer model based on international trade. And then it calculates the carbon emission transfer by Sino-U.S. merchandise trade in 1997 and 2002. The conclusions are as follows: (i) In 1997 and 2002, the total carbon emissions of China’s industry sectors by exporting merchandise to the U.S. reached 40.1013 Mt C (million tonnes of carbon equivalent) and 50.5621 Mt C, accounting for 6.61% and 8.33% of total carbon emissions of China’s industry sectors; while the total carbon emissions of the United States’ industry sectors by exporting merchandise to China were 2.9065 Mt C and 3.3561 Mt C, accounting for only 0.53% and 0.66% of the total carbon emissions of the United States’ industry sectors; (ii) In 1997 and 2002, the carbon emission transfer from the United States to China by Sino-U.S. merchandise trade reached 37.1975 Mt C and 47.1960 Mt C. Specially, the contributions of chemical industry, metal smelting and pressing sector are prominent; (iii) In 1997 and 2002, there were equivalent to 6.77% and 9.32% of the United States’ industry sectors’ total carbon emissions transferred to China. China has made part of contribution to carbon emission reduction for the United States. Developed countries such as the United States should provide climate-friendly and environment-friendly techniques to developing countries such as China.

Key words: merchandise trade, carbon transfer, input-output analysis, Sino-U.S.