Net Zero Compare

Carbon Leakage

Carbon Leakage refers to the phenomenon where a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in one country or region leads to an increase in emissions in another area. This typically occurs when businesses relocate their production to countries with less stringent environmental regulations to avoid the costs associated with carbon emissions reductions. As a result, the total global emissions may not decrease and could potentially even increase, undermining international efforts to combat climate change.

There are several drivers behind carbon leakage, including disparities in environmental policies, variations in carbon prices, and competitive economic pressures. For example, if a country implements strict carbon taxes or caps, industries might shift their operations to regions where such measures are not enforced, finding it more economically viable despite higher emissions. This movement not only hampers local efforts but also poses a significant challenge to global sustainability initiatives.

Understanding and addressing carbon leakage is crucial for the effectiveness of international climate agreements and strategies. Measures such as border carbon adjustments, international cooperation, and harmonized climate policies across different jurisdictions are essential to mitigate this problem and ensure that global emissions are genuinely reduced.