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China’s carbon footprint: A regional perspective on the effect of transitions in consumption and production patterns

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  • Tian, Xin
  • Chang, Miao
  • Lin, Chen
  • Tanikawa, Hiroki

Abstract

A better understanding of CO2 emission trends caused by domestic consumption (referred to as the carbon footprint) in China, especially in the context of changes in consumption and production patterns triggered by economic development in recent years, is important to develop effective approaches for curbing the fast-growing emissions. As the various regions in mainland China exhibit great disparities in socioeconomic factors and are thus in different stages of development, this study aims to obtain a regional map of carbon footprints in China, and address the changes, sources, and drivers of regional carbon footprints. Result indicates that regional per-capita carbon footprint varied greatly from 2.9 ton in the Southwest to 8.4 ton in Jingjin in 2007, and this disparity can be attributed to differences in regional income. On average, construction and services accounted for about 70% of the regional footprint in 2007. From a view of contributions from final demand activities, it was found that on average 56% of the regional footprint was associated with investment activity, 35% was related to household consumption, and 9% was attributable to government consumption. The results of structural decomposition show that while changes in consumption patterns have promoted rapid growth in the carbon footprint across all regions, the contribution from changes in production patterns varied widely, depending on what changes in production structure and CO2 intensity improvements were undertaken. Further CO2 intensity improvements and low-carbon optimization of the production structure will be important approaches for curbing the rapid growth of the carbon footprint across all regions of China.

Suggested Citation

  • Tian, Xin & Chang, Miao & Lin, Chen & Tanikawa, Hiroki, 2014. "China’s carbon footprint: A regional perspective on the effect of transitions in consumption and production patterns," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 19-28.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:123:y:2014:i:c:p:19-28
    DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2014.02.016
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    24. Sanmang Wu & Yalin Lei & Shantong Li, 2017. "Provincial carbon footprints and interprovincial transfer of embodied CO2 emissions in China," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 85(1), pages 537-558, January.
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