Rich nations exporting emissions to China, say scientists

Twenty three percent of China's carbon emissions are from the manufacture of goods exported to western consumers, two of the UK's leading climate scientists said on Thursday.

The carbon emissions related to the manufacture of products for consumers in rich countries are equivalent of more than double the UK’s emissions, or the whole of Japan’s, said Tao Wang and Jim Watson from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.

The scientists believe that counting carbon emissions within national borders, as is currently the case under the UN’s Kyoto Protocol, may be inadequate in deciding who is responsible for emissions reduction.

"In November 2006, the world’s largest container ship, the Emma Maersk, sailed into Felixstowe Docks in the UK, laden with 11,000 containers full of Christmas goods," said Jim Watson. "Is the CO2 emitted from the manufacture and shipping of all those items down to China, or the UK?" 

Read more at the Tyndall Centre website