Abstract

This article theorizes about the implications for domestic climate politics of three distinct roles countries play in the global carbon supply chain: fossil fuel producer, manufacturer of carbon-intensive goods, and final consumer. Because international responsibility is assigned to territorial emissions, countries at either end of the global supply chain effectively evade environmental responsibility by shifting fossil fuel combustion to manufacturing countries. In so doing, they lessen the political challenges of reducing domestic emissions. Although exporters of carbon-intensive goods are reluctant to disadvantage local producers, importers can craft policies that both reduce territorial emissions and create local jobs. Ironically, fossil fuel exporters can emerge as leaders in reducing their own territorial emissions, a finding illustrated by case studies of British Columbia and Norway. The conclusion argues that shifting responsibility for carbon emissions to the point of either final consumption or fossil fuel extraction could facilitate an international climate agreement.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1536-0091
Print ISSN
1526-3800
Pages
pp. 27-48
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-29
Open Access
No
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