Drivers of change in China’s energy-related CO₂ emissions

Zheng, X., Lu, Y., Yuan, J., Baninla, Y., Zhang, S., Stenseth, N.C., Hessen, D.O., Tian, H., et al. (2020). Drivers of change in China’s energy-related CO₂ emissions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117 (1) e201908513. 10.1073/pnas.1908513117.

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CO2 emissions are of global concern because of climate change. China has become the largest CO2 emitter in the world and presently accounts for 30% of global emissions. Here, we analyze the major drivers of energy-related CO2 emissions in China from 1978 when the reform and opening-up policy was launched. We find that 1) there has been a 6-fold increase in energy-related CO2 emissions, which was driven primarily (176%) by economic growth followed by population growth (16%), while the effects of energy intensity (−79%) and carbon intensity (−13%) slowed the growth of carbon emissions over most of this period; 2) energy-related CO2 emissions are positively related to per capita gross domestic product (GDP), population growth rate, carbon intensity, and energy intensity; and 3) a portfolio of command-and-control policies affecting the drivers has altered the total emission trend. However, given the major role of China in global climate change mitigation, significant future reductions in China’s CO2 emissions will require transformation toward low-carbon energy systems.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: CO2 emissions; energy consumption; policy change
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2020 09:24
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:32

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