Greenhouse Gas Cuts Proving Illusory

| Monday, June 27, 2011 | |
by H. Sterling Burnett

Recent greenhouse gas emissions cuts reported by developed nations are illusory, a new peer-reviewed study has found, as many of the cuts have occurred simply as a result of industries relocating to developing nations such as China and India.

Migrating Emissions
As analysts and some politicians recognized when debating the Kyoto protocol, rapid economic growth in developing nations has offset the emissions cuts in industrialized economies. Much of that growth has occurred in China and India as a result of lower wages for workers and less stringent pollution controls and environmental standards.

Ironically, industries that have recently moved overseas merely export the same goods back to developed nations, such that global greenhouse gas emissions are unaffected or actually increase.

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examines the extent of “outsourced” carbon emissions. Conducted by the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo, Norway, the study finds emissions from increased production of internationally traded products have more than offset the emissions reductions achieved under the Kyoto Protocol.



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