Importers responsible for Chinese carbon emissions

China wants to exclude its export market from any treaty on climate change after estimates showing that export production comprises 20 percent of its carbon emissions.

Importers of Chinese products need to take responsibility for the emissions caused by the products they buy, said Chinese climate official Li Gao: “We produce products and these products are consumed by other countries, especially the developed countries. This share of emissions should be taken by the consumers but not the producers.”

Other negotiators pointed out that it would be logistically challenging to regulate the carbon emissions of imports. It may also lead to import restrictions, which China would need to consider, said EU climate negotiator Artur Runge-Metzger.

Representatives from China, Japan and the European Union are currently in talks with US President Barack Obama to decide on the way forward from the Kyoto Protocol, which the US has not signed, and towards a deal to be struck at the Copenhagen conference in December.

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