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Tracing CO2 emissions in global value chains

Bo Meng, Glen Peters, Zhi Wang, Meng Li

This paper integrates two lines of research into a unified conceptual framework: trade in value-added and embodied emissions in trade. This allows both value-added and emissions to be systematically traced at the country, sector, and bilateral levels through various routes in global value chains. By combining value-added and emissions accounting in a consistent way, the potential environmental cost along global value chains can be estimated from different perspectives like production, consumption, and trade. Using this unified accounting framework, we trace value-added and CO2 emissions in global production and trade networks among 41 economies in 35 sectors from 1995 to 2009 based on the World Input–Output Database, and show how they improve our understanding of the impacts of cross-border production sharing on the environment.

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