From: ClickGreen staff, ClickGreen, More from this Affiliate
Published October 18, 2011 08:48 AM

Study measures each nation's output of carbon dioxide

A new study has looked at accurately measuring each nation's contribution of carbon dioxide into the Earth's atmosphere. And the research found 10 countries account for 67% of global carbon emissions.


Carbon is extracted out of the ground as coal, gas, and oil, and these fuels are often exported to other countries where they are burned to generate the energy that is used to make products. In turn, these products may be traded to still other countries where they are consumed.

A team led by Carnegie's Steven Davis tracked and quantified this supply chain of global carbon dioxide emissions. Their work will be published online by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week.

Traditionally, the carbon dioxide emitted by burning fossil fuels is attributed to the country where the fuels were burned. But until now, there has not yet been a full accounting of emissions taking into consideration the entire supply chain, from where fuels originate all the way to where products made using the fuels are ultimately consumed.

"Policies seeking to regulate emissions will affect not only the parties burning fuels but also those who extract fuels and consume products. No emissions exist in isolation, and everyone along the supply chain benefits from carbon-based fuels," Davis said.

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