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Globalization and pollution: tele-connecting local primary PM_(2.5) emissions to global consumption

Meng, Jing and Liu, Junfeng and Xu, Yuan and Guan, Dabo and Liu, Zhu and Huang, Ye and Tao, Shu (2016) Globalization and pollution: tele-connecting local primary PM_(2.5) emissions to global consumption. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences, 472 (2195). Art. No. 20160380. ISSN 1364-5021. PMCID PMC5134305. doi:10.1098/rspa.2016.0380.

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Globalization pushes production and consumption to geographically diverse locations and generates a variety of sizeable opportunities and challenges. The distribution and associated effects of short-lived primary fine particulate matter (PM_(2.5)), a representative of local pollution, are significantly affected by the consumption through global supply chain. Tele-connection is used here to represent the link between production and consumption activity at large distances. In this study, we develop a global consumption-based primary PM_(2.5) emission inventory to track primary PM_(2.5) emissions embodied in the supply chain and evaluate the extent to which local PM2.5 emissions are triggered by international trade. We further adopt consumption-based accounting and identify the global original source that produced the emissions. We find that anthropogenic PM_(2.5) emissions from industrial sectors accounted for 24 Tg globally in 2007; approximately 30% (7.2 Tg) of these emissions were embodied in export of products principally from Brazil, South Africa, India and China (3.8 Tg) to developed countries. Large differences (up to 10 times) in the embodied emissions intensity between net importers and exporters greatly increased total global PM_(2.5) emissions. Tele-connecting production and consumption activity provides valuable insights with respect to mitigating long-range transboundary air pollution and prompts concerted efforts aiming at more environmentally conscious globalization.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Material CentralArticle
Meng, Jing0000-0002-9069-8988
Xu, Yuan0000-0001-9326-2197
Liu, Zhu0000-0002-8968-7050
Tao, Shu0000-0002-7374-7063
Additional Information:© 2016 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited. Received: 21 May 2016; Accepted: 19 October 2016. Data accessibility. All data is available as supplementary material. Authors’ contributions. J.M. and Y.H. prepared the data; J.M. conceived the MRIO models, analysed the results and drafted the paper; J.L. supervised the project. Y.X., D.G., Z.L. and S.T. revised the draft. All authors regularly discussed the progress during the entire work. We declare we have no competing interests. Funding. This work was supported by funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China under awards 41671491, 41571130010, 41390240 and 41501605, National Key Research and Development Program of China 2016YFC0206202, and the 111 Project (B14001). The authors thank Dr Curtis H. S. and George N. for language editing.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Natural Science Foundation of China41671491
National Natural Science Foundation of China41571130010
National Natural Science Foundation of China41390240
National Natural Science Foundation of China41501605
National Key Research and Development Program of China2016YFC0206202
111 ProjectB14001
Subject Keywords:PM2.5 emissions, multi-region input–output analysis, globalization
Issue or Number:2195
PubMed Central ID:PMC5134305
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170104-151838674
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Meng J, Liu J, Xu Y, Guan D, Liu Z, Huang Y, Tao S. 2016 Globalization and pollution: tele-connecting local primary PM2.5 emissions to global consumption. Proc. R. Soc. A 472: 20160380.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:73230
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:04 Jan 2017 23:33
Last Modified:08 Apr 2022 18:28

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