Natural Hazards

, Volume 95, Issue 1–2, pp 401–418 | Cite as

Measuring global energy-related sulfur oxides emissions embodied in trade: a multi-regional and multi-sectoral analysis

  • Zhangqi Zhong
  • Xu Zhang
  • Wei ShaoEmail author
Original Paper


Sulfur oxides (SOX) emissions embodied in trade (SEET) may play an important role in affecting national responsibilities toward pollutant emission reduction within the context of global greenhouse gas emission policy. This paper analyzes the change of the SEET associated with energy consumption from the perspective of a country and a sector between 1995 and 2011, exploring the evolution characteristic of the sources and flows of the SEET for 39 countries, as well as measuring the production-based and consumption-based global SOX emissions’ inventory and investigating the impact of international trade on the allocation of national pollutant emissions’ reduction obligations. One important finding is that the volume of SOX emissions embodied in global trade increased dramatically from 1995 to 2011, and the global SOX emissions stemming from anthropogenic energy consumption are mostly from China and the USA. Another important finding is that, referring to specific sectors, whether seen from the total SEET or from the sources of SEET or from the total SOX emissions occurring from economic consumption and production, energy sectors, like electricity, gas, and water supply and coke, refined petroleum, and nuclear fuel, are the main contributors to the increase in the global SOX emissions. Notably, however, our results show that the sector of agriculture, hunting, forestry, and fishing should be allocated more SOX emission reduction responsibilities under a consumption-based emissions’ accounting inventory.


Sulfur oxides Ecological environment Energy consumption Input–output analysis 



Financial support from the Zhejiang Provincial Social Science Planning Fund Program (No. 18NDJC149YB) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 41601039, 71742001) are gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EconomicsZhejiang University of Finance & EconomicsHangzhouChina

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