Emissions of greenhouse gases in many European countries are declining, and the European Union (EU) believes it is on track in achieving emission reductions as agreed upon in the Kyoto Agreement and the EU's more ambitious post-Kyoto climate policy. However, a number of recent publications indicate that emission reductions may also have been achieved because production has been shifted to other countries, and in particular China. If a consumption perspective is applied, emissions in industrialized countries are substantially higher, and may not have declined at all. Significantly, emissions from transports are omitted in consumption-based calculations. As all trade involves transport, mostly by cargo ship, but also by air, transports add considerably to overall emissions growth incurred in production shifts. Consequently, this article studies the role of transports in creating emissions of CO2, based on the example of exports from China. Results are discussed with regard to their implications for global emission reductions and post-Kyoto negotiations.
- consumer responsibility