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Near Zero
Steven J. Davis
University of California, Irvine  |  Dept. of Earth System Science
Satisfying global demand for energy, food, and goods without emitting CO2 to the atmosphere is a central challenge of the 21st century.  My research is aimed at understanding the scale of that challenge and finding ways to meet it.
Export-related Chinese air pollution affects
US air quality

PNAS | January 20, 2014

As much as one-third of Chinese air pollution is related to goods that are exported from China, and some of that pollution blows across the Pacific. We find that, while outsourcing of manufacturing from the US to China has probably improved air quality in the eastern U.S. (where such manufacturing was previously located), it therefore worsens air quality in the western US.

Lin et al., 2014
Altimetric Analysis
Google Scholar
Selected Press: NY Times, The Atlantic, LA Times
Climate policy and dependence on traded carbon
Environmental Research Letters | July 24, 2013

Increasingly, the goods and services consumed in one country depend upon fossil carbon extracted or burned in other countries. This undermines climate policies adopted by one nation because such policies do not regulate emissions that occur elsewhere. Meanwhile, nations that depend on imports of fuels or emissions-intensive goods are exposed to the costs of climate policies that may be adopted in nations that export these things.

Andrew et al., 2013
Altimetric Analysis
Google Scholar
Selected Press: Shrink That Footprint
Outsourcing CO2 within China
PNAS | June 10, 2013

Just as rich nations outsource their CO2 emissions to China, rich coastal provinces in China are outsourcing emissions to the poorer provinces in the interior of that country. China's province-specific emissions targets will only further encourage this dynamic, despite the fact that the cheapest and easiest emissions reductions--the low-hanging fruit--are in those less developed interior provinces where the energy technologies in use are unsophisticated and inefficient.

Feng et al., 2013
Altimetric Analysis
Google Scholar
Selected Press: The Guardian, BBC, SciAm