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Challenges of rapid economic growth in China: Reconciling sustainable energy use, environmental stewardship and social development

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  • Li, Yong
  • Oberheitmann, Andreas

Abstract

China aims at quadrupling per-capita GDP by 2020 compared to the year 2000. Without any energy and environmental policy measures, this tremendous economic growth would be associated with a quadrupling of primary energy consumption up to 6.3 billion tons of standard coal equivalents (sce) and energy-related CO2-emissions of 13.9 billion tons Against this background, this paper is to set China's need to implement its sustainable development strategy into the quantitative context of the countries economic development and subsequent economic growth-related environmental problems. China is urgently searching for a way to ease the negative implications of economic growth and has committed itself to achieve a level of 3.0 billion ton sce primary energy consumption in 2020. As a consequence, the macro-economic energy intensity has to be reduced by 53% by 2020. A reduction of 53% by 2020 would lead to an energy intensity level 30% points below the year-2000 level of developed countries. As for natural resources, the expected economic growth will lead to an increase of crude oil net-imports up to 455 million ton sce in 2020 and 650 million ton sce in 2030. As for regional income distribution, economic growth helped to decrease existing inequities.

Suggested Citation

  • Li, Yong & Oberheitmann, Andreas, 2009. "Challenges of rapid economic growth in China: Reconciling sustainable energy use, environmental stewardship and social development," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1412-1422, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:37:y:2009:i:4:p:1412-1422
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Granger, C. W. J. & Newbold, P., 1974. "Spurious regressions in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 111-120, July.
    2. Takahiro Akita, 2001. "Regional Income Inequality in China: A Two-Stage Nested Inequality Decomposition Analysis," Working Papers EMS_2001_05, Research Institute, International University of Japan.
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    Cited by:

    1. Aleluia, João & Leitão, João, 2009. "International Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer: The CDM´s Reality in China," MPRA Paper 16150, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Huijie Yan, 2015. "The Integration of Energy, Environment and Health Policies in China: A Review," AMSE Working Papers 1548, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France, revised 10 Nov 2015.
    3. Huijie Yan, 2015. "The Integration of Energy, Environment and Health Policies in China: A Review," Working Papers halshs-01247183, HAL.
    4. Ma, Hengyun & Oxley, Les & Gibson, John & Li, Wen, 2010. "A survey of China's renewable energy economy," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 438-445, January.
    5. Bian, Yiwen & Hu, Miao & Wang, Yousen & Xu, Hao, 2016. "Energy efficiency analysis of the economic system in China during 1986–2012: A parallel slacks-based measure approach," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 990-998.
    6. Wang, Qunwei & Zhou, Peng & Zhou, Dequn, 2012. "Efficiency measurement with carbon dioxide emissions: The case of China," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 161-166.
    7. Yuan, Jiahai & Hu, Zhaoguang, 2011. "Low carbon electricity development in China--An IRSP perspective based on Super Smart Grid," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 2707-2713, August.
    8. Zheng, Yanan & Hu, Zhaoguang & Wang, Jianhui & Wen, Quan, 2014. "IRSP (integrated resource strategic planning) with interconnected smart grids in integrating renewable energy and implementing DSM (demand side management) in China," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 863-874.
    9. Li, Yuqiang & Liao, Shengming & Rao, Zhenghua & Liu, Gang, 2014. "A dynamic assessment based feasibility study of concentrating solar power in China," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 34-42.
    10. Jan van der Borg & Erwin van Tuijl, 2011. "Upgrading of Symbolic and Synthetic Knowledge Bases: Analysis of the Architecture, Engineering and Construction industry and the Automotive Industry in China," Working Papers 2011_25, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    11. Bian, Yiwen & He, Ping & Xu, Hao, 2013. "Estimation of potential energy saving and carbon dioxide emission reduction in China based on an extended non-radial DEA approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 962-971.
    12. Kangjuan Lv & Anyu Yu & Yiwen Bian, 2017. "Regional energy efficiency and its determinants in China during 2001–2010: a slacks-based measure and spatial econometric analysis," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 65-81, February.
    13. Zhang, XiaoHong & Hu, He & Zhang, Rong & Deng, ShiHuai, 2014. "Interactions between China׳s economy, energy and the air emissions and their policy implications," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 624-638.
    14. repec:spr:annopr:v:255:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10479-015-2027-x is not listed on IDEAS
    15. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:7:p:1110-:d:102679 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Fang, Hong & Wu, Junjie & Zeng, Catherine, 2009. "Comparative study on efficiency performance of listed coal mining companies in China and the US," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5140-5148, December.
    17. Chung-Ling Chien, John & Lior, Noam, 2011. "Concentrating solar thermal power as a viable alternative in China's electricity supply," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(12), pages 7622-7636.
    18. Hu, Zhaoguang & Yuan, Jiahai & Hu, Zheng, 2011. "Study on China's low carbon development in an Economy-Energy-Electricity-Environment framework," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 2596-2605, May.

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