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6-13 Professor Sun Laixiang, University of Maryland, USA: Changes in Global trade patterns contradict global mitigation efforts

  • Release date:2018-08-20 04:37:00

  Title: Changes in Global trade patterns contradict global mitigation efforts


  Speaker: Laixiang Sun (Professor of University of Maryland)


  Time: Wednesday, June 13, 2018, at 15:30 pm


  Location: Beijing University of Technology, the sixth floor of the main building


  Speaker Profile:


  Professor Sun Laixiang is currently Professor of Geography Economics at the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland, and a Professor of Financial Management at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. He is a Visiting Fellow at the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University and a Senior Fellow at the Institute of International Applied Systems (IIASA) in Vienna, Austria. Visiting Professor, Institute of Geographical Sciences and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences. In February 2010, he was elected as the Fellow/Academic of the Academy of Social Sciences, the UK. In June 2005, he was awarded the honorary title of “Outstanding Overseas Chinese Scholar” by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.



  The proponents of “gains-from-trade hypothesis” contend that global trade improves resource allocation and leads to greater capacity for environmental management. The opponents argue that the competition mechanism of the international market pushes the production of resource intensive products into countries with lower cost of resource use, lower environmental standards and less efficient resource-use technologies. In this research, we address the above debate from a different angle: Whether observed changes in global trade patterns help or hinder the global efforts on climate change mitigation and environmental protection. We employ a global Multi-Regional Input–Output (MRIO) approach to quantify the impacts of changes in global trade patterns on carbon emissions, land use and water consumption between 2004 and 2011. The results show that if the trade patterns in 2004 had been remaining, the global CO2 emissions and water consumption in 2011 would be 669 million tons (2.7%) and 30 billion m3 (0.9%) lower, but the global land use would be 14 million hectares (0.2%) higher than the actual figures, meaning that trade patterns became less carbon and water efficient but more land efficient between 2004 and 2011.