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Carbon emissions embedded in China's paper trade: Estimated outcomes of alternative approaches

Fangmiao Hou, Haiying Su, Can Liu, Xinxuan Lin, Fengyuan Zuo and Hui Xiao

Forest Policy and Economics, 2022, vol. 145, issue C

Abstract: China is one of the largest exporters of paper products. Along the global value chains (GVCs), specialization and segmentation result in paper products, as well as the intermediate inputs associated with their manufacturing, in one country to be consumed by other countries. This results in the carbon flows embedded in the trade flows and, thus, an ignorance of potential carbon leakage due to production-based carbon emissions accounting. Using the multiregional input-output model and statistics from the World Input-Output Database, we employ a consumer-based accounting method to trace carbon emissions embodied in China's paper trade from 2000 to 2014. It is found that the carbon emissions embodied in China's paper exports were much larger than those of its imports. China's manufacturing and exporting of large amounts of paper products led to high carbon emissions within China. However, substantial carbon leakages can occur to the importing countries of China's paper products if the accounting is done from the production perspective. To reduce paper industry's carbon leakage and participate in GVCs more efficiently, it is also necessary for the country to upgrade the manufacturing technologies and processes.

Keywords: Global value chain; Carbon accounting; Leakage; Multiregional input-output (MRIO) model; World input-output database (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.forpol.2022.102863

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