Tracing global supply chains to air pollution hotspots
Journal article, Peer reviewed
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionEnvironmental Research Letters. 2016, 11 (9), . 10.1088/1748-9326/11/9/094017
While high-income countries have made significant strides since the 1970s in improving air quality, air pollution continues to rise in many developing countries and the world as a whole. A significant share of the pollution burden in developing countries can be attributed to production for export to consumers in high-income nations. However, it remains a challenge to quantify individual actors' share of responsibility for pollution, and to involve parties other than primary emitters in cleanup efforts. Here we present a new spatially explicit modeling approach to link SO2, NO x , and PM10 severe emissions hotspots to final consumers via global supply chains. These maps show developed countries reducing their emissions domestically but driving new pollution hotspots in developing countries. This is also the first time a spatially explicit footprint inventory has been established. Linking consumers and supply chains to emissions hotspots creates opportunities for other parties to participate alongside primary emitters and local regulators in pollution abatement efforts.