Krishnan, A and Maxwell, S · 2020
Overseas Development

Counting carbon in global trade Why imported emissions challenge the climate regime and what might be done about it

The foundations of the climate regime are under threat, with significant implications for developing countries. This report identifies two main threats to the climate regime. The first is the growing importance of emissions traded across national borders, currently accounting for up to 38% of global emissions, with developed countries being net importers and emerging economies mostly net exporters. The second is the increasing focus on action to reduce the carbon intensity of trade, including, of course, exports from developing to developed countries. The measurement, reporting and certification of carbon emissions plays a key role.

In the best case, developing countries may find that the reshaping of the climate regime acts to their benefit, for example encouraging faster progression to low-carbon output and opening new export opportunities for low-carbon products. In the worst case, however, developing countries may find themselves bearing increasing costs for monitoring and certifying carbon content, and perhaps being at a competitive disadvantage in a low-carbon trading system.

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Aarti Krishnan

Aarti Krishnan
University of Manchester

Aarti Krishnan is a Hallsworth Research fellow at the University of Manchester. She is a developmental economist, working at the nexus of environment, trade and development. Her areas of expertise include value chain analysis, green growth, agricultural transformation, innovation and knowledge systems, digitalisation and regional development. She began her career working as a commodity derivate market analyst at in Mumbai working on developing structured financial products for edible oils and oil seeds futures and carbon markets. Following this, she was a Research Associate at the University of Manchester, evaluating the role of sustainability standards, environmental innovations and corporate social responsibility in agricultural and light manufacturing sectors. She has worked as a Senior Research Officer at the Overseas Development Institute, researching a range of topics to support governments relating to technology and the SDGs and promoting the inclusion of micro and small enterprises into value chains. She has held the prestigious ESRC postdoctoral fellowship award, researching on taking the environment seriously in value chains, researching the effects digitalisation on future of food production and consumption. Aarti holds a Masters in Environmental Management and PhD in Development Policy from the University of Manchester, and BBA (Finance) from Delhi University.

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