Importers “should pay for emissions”

A Chinese climate-change official says that countries that buy goods from China should be held responsible for the carbon dioxide emitted by the factories that make them, Reuters reported. “About 15% to 25% of China’s emissions come from the products which we make for the world,” noted Li Gao, director of the country’s department of climate change.


Li added that “this share of emission should be taken by the consumers, not the producers” and called the idea a “very important item to make [for a] fair agreement” on reducing global greenhouse-gas emissions. Speaking at a forum sponsored by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, Li provided no further details of his proposal.

Still, it could be controversial because developed countries such as the United States already fear that controlling domestic greenhouse-gas emissions will lead to sharply higher energy prices and possible job losses. Like the United States, China did not join the Kyoto Protocol aimed at reducing the global emissions linked to climate change.


With an economy that has been booming on its export of manufactured goods, China’s emissions also have been growing and are now thought to be around par with those in the United States. Backers of a new international deal to control emissions hope that a pact is embraced in Copenhagen in December.

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