One-fifth of global carbon emissions come from multinational corporations from China

One-fifth of global carbon emissions come from multinational corporations from China

Multinational corporations have far-reaching implications beyond national borders. If the world’s leading organizations take the lead on climate change – for example, by requiring energy efficiency in their supply chains – they could have a transformative impact on global emissions reduction efforts.

The authors argue that outsiders have a huge responsibility when it comes to reducing emissions and helping to reduce the climate crisis. By mapping their resources abroad and emissions generated by suppliers, the study shows that emissions are not just happening in the countries where these companies are
headquartered, it does not mean that they are not happening or are not being held accountable. Researchers suggest that in order to help these companies move in a more sustainable way, their foreign emissions should be determined by the country in which they come from.

However, companies climate change policies often have little effect on large investment decisions, such as where supply chains can be built. Investor’s determination of emissions in the country means that multinationals are more accountable for the national emissions that result from this decision.

Professor Dabo Guan (UCL Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management) says: Multinational corporations have expanded far beyond national boundaries. If the world’s leading corporations take the lead on climate change – Could have a  transformative effect on global efforts.

Determining investor’s emissions means that multinationals are more accountable for the national emissions that result from this decision. Carbon emissions from foreign investment by multinational corporations fell from 22% of total emissions in 2011 to 16.7% in 2016. Researchers say this was a result of the trend of de-globalization as well as a reduction in the amount of foreign direct investment. As well as new technologies and processes make industries more carbon efficient.

In mapping the global flow of investment, researchers have seen a steady increase in investment from developed to developing countries. In this case, between 2011 and 2016, US emissions from India to India increased by almost half (from 47.3 million tons to 70.7 million tons), while investment from China to Southeast Asia increased tenfold in the same year 0.7 million to 8.2 million tons).
BP, meanwhile, generates more emissions through its foreign firms outside the United States than the foreign-owned oil industry; Wal-Mart, meanwhile, outperformed the rest of Germany's foreign-owned retail sector, Coca-Cola emissions around the world are on par with the foreign-owned food and beverage industry run by China.

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