Carbon outsourcing exposed

A recent study of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, in Stanford, California, looks at an alternative style of carbon accounting — one that assigns CO2 emissions to the consumers responsible for them.

“Instead of looking at carbon dioxide emissions only in terms of what is released inside our borders, we also looked at the amount of carbon dioxide released during the production of the things that we consume,” says Ken Caldeira (press release). “Just like the electricity that you use in your home probably causes CO2 emissions at a coal-burning power plant somewhere else, we found that the products imported by the developed countries of western Europe, Japan, and the United States cause substantial emissions in other countries, especially China.” Read more on the NATURE.COM website.

Such revelations underline the urgent need for a global taxation system on carbon.  Levying carbon fees at point of extraction or point of import  (as proposed by among others, Höglund) would go a long way to remedying this.