University of East Anglia
Duration of your PhD
Prof. Dabo Guan, Dr. Heike Schroeder
Social Sciences Graduate School Research PhD Studentships for Climate Change and International Development
My Thesis' Abstract
The title of my PhD research project is “Embodied Emission Trade among Global Cities”. An emissions trading system will consist of a number of participants, each of whom will have a cap on their total emissions over a specified period of time. The cap will have been set by reference to the total emissions for a particular participant over a period of time, often referred to as its ‘baseline’, which is used as a reference point for future emissions reductions. Within a classic ‘cap and trade’ scheme, participants take on caps requiring them to reduce their emissions and, in return, receive allowances equal to their individual caps. Participants can choose either to meet their cap by reducing their own emissions; to reduce their emissions below their cap and, perhaps, sell the excess allowances; or to let their emissions remain above their cap, and buy allowances from other participants. All that matters is that, when it comes to demonstrating compliance, every single participant holds allowances at least equal in number to its quantity of emissions. The result should then be that the total quantity of emissions will have been reduced to the sum of all the capped levels. (Boswall J., 2002) The overall goal of an emissions trading plan is to minimize the cost of meeting a set emissions target or cap.
However, there is a phenomenon should be considered when setting the caps and building a emission trade system among global cities. Recent studies have shown that the high standard of living enjoyed by people in the richest countries often comes at the expense of CO2 emissions produced with technologies of low efficiency in less affluent, developing countries. (Kuishuang F., 2013). Take China as an example, within 5 years, China’s CO2 emissions have nearly doubled, and China may already be the world’s largest emitter of CO2. Evidence suggests that exports could be a main cause for the rise in Chinese CO2 emissions, that means around one-third of Chinese emissions (1700Mt CO2) were due to production of exports, and this proportion has risen from 12% (230Mt) in 1987 and only 21% (760 Mt) as recently as 2002. It is likely that consumption in the developed world is driving this trend. A majority of these emissions have largely escaped the scrutiny of arguments over ‘‘carbon leakage’’ due to the current, narrow definition of leakage. (Christopher L. Weber, 2008)
Based on these background, finding who is responsible for carbon emissions should be considered firstly in the research. Therefore, there should be several stages of this PhD research project.
Build an emission database of global mega cities based on Input-output model.
Calculate the emission inventories of city scale and industry scale.
Calculate the emission flow during trade between countries, regions and sectors.
Research on the existed emission trade system and present some improvements.