TRUTHstudio | The Emission Cost of International Sourcing
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The Emission Cost of International Sourcing

This graphic was produced to illustrate the key arguments of an academic article exploring the effect of changes in trade patterns, particularly increasing international sourcing, on global CO2-emissions growth. The paper estimates the “emission cost of sourcing”: the increase in emissions resulting from replacing domestic products by imports from countries with more CO2-intensive technologies. The paper finds that changes in sourcing patterns between 1995 and 2007 contribute (1) to reducing emissions in high-wage countries and (2) to increasing emissions in low-wage countries, with a net effect amounting to 18% of total global CO2-emissions growth. This calls into question climate change policies based on territorial (national) emissions and suggests the benefit of transferring cleaner technologies to low-wage countries. The graphic is intended to convey both the overall scale of emissions transfer from high-wage to low-wage countries (1.5 Gt), as well as the more detailed emission flows related to international trade.

Source: Hoekstra, Michel & Suh, “The emission cost of international sourcing: using structural decomposition analysis to calculate the contribution of international sourcing to CO2-emission growth” in Economic Systems Research, Volume 28, Issue 2 (2016), pp 151-67.

Link to article

Image is copyright 2016 Taylor & Francis, a division of Informa plc.