A study quantifying each nation’s contribution to global carbon emissions based on its role in the supply chain of energy production — from resource mining to burning of fuels — suggests that pricing carbon at the point of extraction would simplify global efforts to curb emissions.
In an analysis of global data on the trade of fossil energy resources, researchers found that extraction is highly concentrated, with seven nations (China, the U.S., Russia, Canada, Australia, India, and Norway) and the Middle East accounting for more than two-thirds of the world’s resources of oil, gas, and coal.
According to the authors, enacting carbon pricing mechanisms at the point of extraction would prevent the relocation of industries, which would likely occur if regulations were put in place at the point of combustion. While the manufacture of products may shift from one country to another, they say, fossil fuel resources are geographically fixed.
“No emissions exist in isolation, and everyone along the supply chain benefits from carbon-based fuels,” said Steven Davis, a researcher at the Carnegie Institution for Science and one of the study’s authors. The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360