Emissions Embedded in Global Trade

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Emissions generated anywhere on the planet contribute to global warming. But there are no globally uniform climate policies. Instead, decarbonization policies are made at the national or local level. Countries around the world continue to develop and implement unilateral climate mitigation policies as goods and services flow across national borders. As global trade rises, it is important to assess whether addressing emissions in international trade would drive global decarbonization. This paper provides an overview of global emissions trends, including the emissions trends of developed and developing countries; the world’s biggest polluters; and small, open economies. The analyses and data in this paper offer useful insights for policymakers who are seeking to develop climate policies that are effective in driving decarbonization at home and abroad.

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