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European Tribune - Beyond GDP - Day 2 (afternoon) Summary
The statements on China were later moderated by a member of the audience who mentioned that we have to be careful about the framing as the West is responsible for a good deal of the pollution in China (this is to the tune of 23%, see 3E Intelligence).

Hmmm, I just to a look at that paper -- "Who Owns China's Carbon Emissions?" (PDF) from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research -- and unless I'm misreading it, I think it's not only Western countries that are "responsible" for 23% of China's carbon emissions, but all countries that import goods from China.  And looking at who the top 10 importers from China are,

US-China Trade Statistics and China's World Trade Statistics

Table 8: China's Top Export Destinations 2006 ($ billion)
Source: PRC General Administration of Customs, China's Customs Statistics
Rank Country/Region Volume % Change*
1 United States 203.5 24.9
2 Hong Kong 155.4 24.8
3 Japan 91.6 9.1
4 South Korea 44.5 26.8
5 Germany 40.3 23.9
6 tde Netderlands 30.9 19.3
7 United Kingdom 24.2 27.3
8 Singapore 23.2 39.4
9 Taiwan 20.7 25.3
10 Italy 16.0 36.7
*Percent change over 2005

The paper notes that Many of the goods exported to Hong Kong from mainland China are re-exported to other countries such as the UK after value-added processes have been performed. The major destinations of Hong Kong's re-exports, besides the Chinese mainland itself, are the USA, Japan, Germany and the UK.

But even with this qualification, I still think rather than saying "Western" countries are responsible for 23% of China's CO2 emissions, perhaps it would be better to say "countries with developed industrial economies" or something along those lines.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Wed Nov 21st, 2007 at 10:17:00 AM EST

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