Original Research

Trade implications of grid emission factors under climate change and the green economy: Comparative study of African and Asian continents

Chipo Mukonza, Godwell Nhamo
Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences | Vol 9, No 1 | a26; | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jef.v9i1.26 | © 2017 Chipo Mukonza, Godwell Nhamo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 December 2017 | Published: 10 March 2016

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Chipo Mukonza, University of South Africa, South Africa
Godwell Nhamo, University of South Africa, South Africa

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Trade, climate change, and the green economy are aspects that converge on the carbon footprint of organisations, products and countries. The carbon footprint is in turn linked directly to the grid emission factors (GEFs) of a country or sub-regions within that country. In an epoch where global citizens are increasingly aware of the adverse impacts of high greenhouse gas emissions leading to global warming, low carbon footprints are likely to attract greater trade opportunities. African and Asian countries have embraced the green economy to address economic development, environmental management and social equity challenges. The advent of the green economy means that trade is likely to result in the more efficient allocation of natural resources, as well as improved access to green goods, services and technologies. Through the examination and analysis of publicly available and accessible data and documents, this article seeks to compare the ‘green’ trade competitiveness of Asian and African economies as measured through carbon footprints. The results of the study show that Africa is relatively cleaner than Asia. Therefore, ceteris paribus, if GEFs are used to determine trading partners, Africa stands a better chance. The research findings can be used to make informed strategic trade decision in favour of environmental sustainability.


Green economy; climate change; grid emission factors; trade; Africa; Asia


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