Tracing global supply chains to air pollution hotspots

While high-income countries have made significant strides since the 1970s in improving air quality, air pollution continues to rise in many developing countries and the world as a whole. A significant share of the pollution burden in developing countries can be attributed to production for export to consumers in high-income nations. However, it remains a challenge to quantify individual actors' share of responsibility for pollution, and to involve parties other than primary emitters in cleanup efforts. Here we present a new spatially explicit modeling approach to link SO2, NO x , and PM10 severe emissions hotspots to final consumers via global supply chains. These maps show developed countries reducing their emissions domestically but driving new pollution hotspots in developing countries.

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