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Analyzing Drivers of Regional Carbon Dioxide Emissions for China

Author

Listed:
  • Kuishuang Feng
  • Yim Ling Siu
  • Dabo Guan
  • Klaus Hubacek

Abstract

China faces the challenge of balancing unprecedented economic growth and environmental sustainability. Rather than a homogenous country that can be analyzed at the national level, China is a vast country with significant regional differences in physical geography, regional economy, demographics, industry structure, and household consumption patterns. There are pronounced differences between the much‐developed Eastern‐Coastal economic zone and the less developed Central and Western economic zones in China. Such variations lead to large regional discrepancies in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Using the 28 regional input‐output tables of China for 2002 and 2007 and structural decomposition analysis (SDA), we analyze how changes in population, technology, economic structure, urbanization, and household consumption patterns drive regional CO2 emissions. The results show a significant gap between the three economic zones in terms of CO2 emission intensity, as the Eastern‐Coastal zone possesses more advanced production technologies compared to the Central and Western zones. The most polluting sectors and largest companies are state‐owned enterprises and thus are potentially able to speed up knowledge transfer between companies and regions. The “greening” of the more developed areas is not only a result of superior technology, but also of externalizing production and pollution to the poorer regions in China. The results also show that urbanization and associated income and lifestyle changes were important driving forces for the growth of CO2 emissions in most regions in China. Therefore, focusing on technology and efficiency alone is not sufficient to curb regional CO2 emissions.

Suggested Citation

  • Kuishuang Feng & Yim Ling Siu & Dabo Guan & Klaus Hubacek, 2012. "Analyzing Drivers of Regional Carbon Dioxide Emissions for China," Journal of Industrial Ecology, Yale University, vol. 16(4), pages 600-611, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:inecol:v:16:y:2012:i:4:p:600-611
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1530-9290.2012.00494.x
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1530-9290.2012.00494.x
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    Cited by:

    1. Zhihui Li & Xiangzheng Deng & Xi Chu & Gui Jin & Wei Qi, 2019. "An Outlook on the Biomass Energy Development Out to 2100 in China," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 54(4), pages 1359-1377, December.
    2. Fu, Xue & Lahr, Michael & Yaxiong, Zhang & Meng, Bo, 2017. "Actions on climate change, Intended Reducing carbon emissions in China via optimal industry shifts: Toward hi-tech industries, cleaner resources and higher carbon shares in less-develop regions," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 616-638.
    3. Ling Yang & Michael L. Lahr, 2019. "The Drivers of China’s Regional Carbon Emission Change—A Structural Decomposition Analysis from 1997 to 2007," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(12), pages 1-18, June.
    4. Zheng, Hongmei & Li, Aimin & Meng, Fanxin & Liu, Gengyuan, 2020. "Energy flows embodied in China's interregional trade: Case study of Hebei Province," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 428(C).
    5. PU, Zhengning & YUE, Shujing & GAO, Peng, 2020. "The driving factors of China's embodied carbon emissions," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 153(C).
    6. Wang, Xianzhu & Huang, He & Hong, Jingke & Ni, Danfei & He, Rongxiao, 2020. "A spatiotemporal investigation of energy-driven factors in China: A region-based structural decomposition analysis," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 207(C).
    7. Wu, Haitao & Xu, Lina & Ren, Siyu & Hao, Yu & Yan, Guoyao, 2020. "How do energy consumption and environmental regulation affect carbon emissions in China? New evidence from a dynamic threshold panel model," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    8. Chen, Shaoqing & Zhu, Feiyao, 2019. "Unveiling key drivers of urban embodied and controlled carbon footprints," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 235(C), pages 835-845.
    9. Fang, Delin & Duan, Cuncun & Chen, Bin, 2020. "Average propagation length analysis for carbon emissions in China," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 275(C).
    10. Mi, Zhifu & Zheng, Jiali & Meng, Jing & Zheng, Heran & Li, Xian & Coffman, D'Maris & Woltjer, Johan & Wang, Shouyang & Guan, Dabo, 2019. "Carbon emissions of cities from a consumption-based perspective," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 235(C), pages 509-518.
    11. Huang, Rui & Chen, Guangwu & Lv, Guonian & Malik, Arunima & Shi, Xunpeng & Xie, Xiaotian, 2020. "The effect of technology spillover on CO2 emissions embodied in China-Australia trade," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 144(C).

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