Working Paper

Emissions embodied in Chinese exports taking into account the special export structure of China

Kiel Working Papers, 1885

Quantification of CO2 emissions embodied in China's trade is important for an informed debate on whom to blame for the recent rise in Chinese emissions or the calculation of border carbon adjustments. Applying input output techniques, we calculate these emissions in (1) a standard model, (2) a regionally disaggregated model, taking into account that export production is concentrated in more advanced and more emission efficient provinces and (3) in a model with export processing, taking into account that almost half of Chinese exports relies on a large share of imported intermediates and little domestic value and emissions added. We compare year 2007 emissions embodied for in Chinese exports in a unified framework. We also report emissions embodied in Chinese imports used for intermediate production of exports by combining calculations for China with data from global IO models. We find that both a model with 30 provinces (1730 Mt CO2) and a model accounting for export processing (1580 Mt) yield lower Chinese emissions embodied in exports compared to the standard model (1782 Mt). In the regional model, emissions are even lower (1522 Mt), if interprovincial trade is not taken into account.


Matthias Weitzel
Tao Ma