This is indeed great food for thought. Economic consultancy KGM & Associates and Global Efficiency Intelligence, an energy and environmental research firm recently put out a very thought provoking report.
Its finding - In 2015, nearly 20% of India’s emissions were linked to production of goods for exports, primarily to the US. Thus what this means is that exporting goods to developed nations is partly to blame for rising emissions in developing countries like India.
But then, this is the price one has to pay for development and economic growth, isn’t it? It is always and always the environment only. Be it domestic or export, when we produce expending energy, surely the impact will be felt on the environment.
Does that mean we stop exporting? Surely not! How can we have any standing in the global arena if we are not having an international presence. One can argue about the need to have an international presence, like Bhutan. But then Bhutan is a very small country and it imports almost every basic day-to-day need.
More from the report – it has coined a term known as “embodied emissions.” This is the total amount of emissions from all the processes required to deliver a product or service, using supply-chain data for 15,000 sectors in 189 countries.
In this aspect, US is the largest global importer of embodied emissions, while China is by far the largest exporter. USA is also the second top exporter. India comes in at number four.
It has listed the top sectors with highest emissions attributed to production for exports. Topping the list is leather goods, followed by handlooms, industrial machinery, motorcycles & scooters…basically everything industrial.