It is interesting to me that this has never come to the fore earlier. But countries that are reducing their carbon footprint are in many ways only shifting their footprint to other countries.
Much like shipping our waste overseas (yes, I used waste because of how dirty our recycling stream is)…or trying to, many countries that are touted for their climate reduction efforts have simply shifted the burden.
How? By shifting heavy industries to countries like China.
As the Times reports, countries like France, Germany and Great Britain have lost much of their heavy industry and now import steel and other goods. Of course, we do that as well.
That means that these materials, rather than being produced in a cleaner…aka more costly plant, are produced where the rules are looser. Of course this means that more pollution is emitted for the same ton of material.
This is a tough one. But do take a look at the impact of this pollution on the reduction efforts of those countries. They don’t look nearly as good when you do.
The article does offer some solutions such as a carbon import tax…but I wouldn’t hold my breath. (Sorry…couldn’t resist)
Read the full article:
You’ve Heard of Outsourced Jobs, but Outsourced Pollution? It’s Real, and Tough to Tally Up
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