Responsibility for CO2 emissions debated

WASHINGTON, April 26 (UPI) -- Lower CO2 emissions in developed countries have been neutralized by an increase in developing nations as they produce goods for trade, a U.S. study says.

In a paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers found that CO2 emissions from the production of traded goods and services had increased between 1990 and 2008 from 4.2 gigatons per year to 7.9 gigatons, or from 20 percent of global emissions to 26 percent.


The study found most of this increase was in developing countries producing goods for trade, primarily to developed countries, reported.

The disparity has many groups calling for a change in the Kyoto protocol agreement's practice of only counting CO2 emissions that are produced in-country, rather than the CO2 footprint of those products that are consumed.

While developed nations have been able to claim collective reductions of almost 2 percent, they are consuming products produced in other countries that were made using processes that continue to pour CO2 into the atmosphere.

Environmentalists argue developed nations should be held accountable for the carbon emissions released in making the products they now consume rather than holding the developing nations that produce them wholly responsible.


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