Articles Posted in the Green News category

Imports, exports and emissions

February 25, 2009
Posted in Green News

China may have overtaken the United States as the world’s biggest carbon emitter, but a significant amount of its emissions are a result of producing goods for consumers in western countries.

China’s carbon dioxide emissions increased by 45 percent from 2002 to 2005, but half was due to the production of exports, 60 percent of which went to western countries, according to a new report, “Journey to world top emitter”, to be published in Geophysical Research Letters.

Electronic products, metals, chemicals, and machinery were the export products contributing largely to the increase.

Only 7 percent of the emissions increase was triggered by household consumption in China, researchers from the University of Cambridge, the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo (CICERO), Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Leeds found.

Rich countries are contributing to the emission increases in developing nations, but this is not accounted for in international negotiations, CICERO says in a statement.

International climate agreements do not account for how emissions cross national borders because of imports and exports. In the Kyoto Protocol, every country is responsible for emissions on its own territory, it adds.

“It is important to take at least some responsibility for problems that we cause indirectly in other countries,” says Glen Peters, a researcher at CICERO.

“We do not need to completely redesign Kyoto, but we could include incremental changes that address carbon leakage [the process where a country reduces emissions on its own territory but increases imports] and competitiveness concerns.

“Climate policy could be designed in similar ways to existing tax policy. For example, we could design carbon taxes in a similar way to value-added taxation which covers imported products. In that way the consumer would pay for the emissions caused by his or her consumption,” says Peters.

Source: CICERO

Olympic pollution controls had marked impact, say scientists

December 21, 2008
Posted in Green News

The efforts of China’s authorities to clean up the air for this year’s Olympics in Beijing had some surprising results, Nasa researchers report.

According to atmospheric scientist Jacquelyn Witte and colleagues from Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Centre, during the two months when authorities temporarily closed some factories and banished many cars in Beijing, the levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) – a noxious gas resulting from fossil fuel combustion (primarily in cars, trucks, and power plants) – plunged by nearly 50 percent. Levels of carbon monoxide (CO) fell about 20 percent.

“After the authorities lifted the traffic restrictions, the levels of these pollutants shot right back up,” Witte noted.

The steep decline in certain pollutants came as a surprise to the researchers, says a Nasa news release.

The researchers used Nasa’s Aura and Terra satellites to measure the impact of the air pollution controls.

Witte presented the results on December 16 at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

Ultimately, researchers aim to use satellite data to evaluate and refine models to predict how pollution levels respond to changes in emissions. Such models are important for understanding the integrated Earth system and aiding policymakers considering ways to reduce pollution, says Nasa.

Wal-Mart’s green plan for its Chinese suppliers

April 9, 2008
Posted in Business

Thirty percent of the goods produced in China for export are apparently purchased by one US retail giant, Wal-Mart. And as part of moves by the mega-retailer to green up its supply chain, it plans to hold a meeting with about 1,000 Chinese producers to push them to reduce their environmental impact, reports. “The company plans to reduce the amount of packaging used by products by 5 percent by 2013 and created a packaging scorecard to help suppliers see where they can make improvements.” Read more on
Via :: The Daily Green

China tells West to drop the climate change lecture

March 12, 2008
Posted in Green News

China wants developing countries to stop lecturing it on its increasing emissions. China’s foreign minister yesterday pointed out that the per capita emissions of greenhouses gases in China were less than a third of the average in developed countries. “China’s aggregate emission is large. This is because China has the largest population in the world, but China’s per capita emission level is very low,” Yang said. In addition, a large part of China’s emissions resulted from the manufacture of goods bought by consumers in western countries, he said.

Via :: IOL