UK trade generates 25m jobs worldwide


A new paper from CIEMAP reports that along with 525mt of CO2, the UK’s international trade generates 25 million jobs overseas.

Authored by Marco Sakai, Anne Owen and John Barrett (of the University of Leeds) the study highlights the complexity of different factors affecting energy demand reduction, trade and economics. (Entitled ‘The UK’s Emissions and Employment Footprints: Exploring the Trade-Offs‘ the full paper is published in the ‘Sustainability’ journal.)

The 525mt figure quoted shows that around half of the UK’s total emissions footprint is generated outside UK territory. It becomes apparent from this that measuring a nation’s carbon footprint based only on what goes on within its borders only gives half the story.

Reducing imports to the UK could reduce its overall carbon emissions, the researchers found. However, the flipside of this is that the 25 million jobs abroad estimated to be associated with UK trade would also be likely to be reduced, affecting development in the exporting countries.

The situation has major policy implications regarding energy, economics and trade, with the impending Brexit adding a further layer of complexity. Offering increased technological support and aid to emission-intensive overseas trade partners could offer a beneficial route forward. 

This work is an example of the multi-faceted, inter-sectoral research being done to try and understand and make recommendations for reducing energy demand while encouraging economic growth and maintaining living standards.


Access the full paper on the Sustainability Journal website

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