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Scenario analysis of China's emissions pathways in the 21st century for low carbon transition

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  • Wang, Tao
  • Watson, Jim

Abstract

China's growing demand for energy - and its dependence on coal - has seen its carbon emissions increase more than 50% since 2000. Within the debate about mitigating global climate change, there is mounting pressure for emerging economies like China to take more responsibility for reducing their carbon emissions within a post-2012 international climate change policy framework. For China, this leads to fundamental questions about how feasible it is for the country to shift away from its recent carbon intensive pattern of growth. This paper presents some general results of scenarios that have been developed to investigate how China might continue to develop within a cumulative carbon emissions budget. The results show how changes in the key sectors of the Chinese economy could enable China to follow four different low carbon development pathways, each of which complies with a cumulative emissions constraint. Each scenario reflects different priorities for governmental decision making, infrastructure investments and social preferences. Having compared the key features of each scenario, the paper concludes with some implications for Chinese government policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Wang, Tao & Watson, Jim, 2010. "Scenario analysis of China's emissions pathways in the 21st century for low carbon transition," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 3537-3546, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:7:p:3537-3546
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Francesch-Huidobro, Maria, 2016. "Climate change and energy policies in Shanghai: A multilevel governance perspective," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 45-56.
    2. Wang, Ke & Zhang, Xian & Wei, Yi-Ming & Yu, Shiwei, 2013. "Regional allocation of CO2 emissions allowance over provinces in China by 2020," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 214-229.
    3. Chen, Xiaojian & Wang, Zhenyu & He, Sanfeng & Li, Fuqiang, 2013. "Programme management of world bank financed small hydropower development in Zhejiang Province in China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 21-31.
    4. Weidong Chen & Qing He, 2016. "Intersectoral burden sharing of CO 2 mitigation in China in 2020," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 1-14, January.
    5. Li, Huanan & Wei, Yi-Ming & Mi, Zhifu, 2015. "China’s carbon flow: 2008–2012," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 45-53.
    6. Bhattacharya, Mita & Rafiq, Shuddhasattwa & Bhattacharya, Sankar, 2015. "The role of technology on the dynamics of coal consumption–economic growth: New evidence from China," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 686-695.
    7. Weidong Chen & Qing He, 2016. "Intersectoral burden sharing of CO2 mitigation in China in 2020," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 1-14, January.
    8. Wang, Nannan & Chang, Yen-Chiang, 2014. "The evolution of low-carbon development strategies in China," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 61-70.
    9. Wang, Can & Ye, Minhua & Cai, Wenjia & Chen, Jining, 2014. "The value of a clear, long-term climate policy agenda: A case study of China’s power sector using a multi-region optimization model," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 276-288.
    10. Meng, Lei & Guo, Ju'e & Chai, Jian & Zhang, Zengkai, 2011. "China's regional CO2 emissions: Characteristics, inter-regional transfer and emission reduction policies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 6136-6144, October.
    11. repec:spr:endesu:v:19:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s10668-016-9834-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Yuan, Jiahai & Xu, Yan & Hu, Zhen & Yu, Zhongfu & Liu, Jiangyan & Hu, Zhaoguang & Xu, Ming, 2012. "Managing electric power system transition in China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(8), pages 5660-5677.
    13. Feng, Kuishuang & Hubacek, Klaus & Siu, Yim Ling & Li, Xin, 2014. "The energy and water nexus in Chinese electricity production: A hybrid life cycle analysis," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 342-355.
    14. Tian, Lixin & Jin, Rulei, 2012. "Theoretical exploration of carbon emissions dynamic evolutionary system and evolutionary scenario analysis," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 376-386.
    15. Anping Chen & Nicolaas Groenewold, 2014. "The regional economic effects of a reduction in carbon emissions and an evaluation of offsetting policies in China," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 93(2), pages 429-453, June.
    16. Wang, Nannan & Chang, Yen-Chiang, 2014. "The development of policy instruments in supporting low-carbon governance in China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 126-135.
    17. Yue, Ting & Long, Ruyin & Chen, Hong & Zhao, Xin, 2013. "The optimal CO2 emissions reduction path in Jiangsu province: An expanded IPAT approach," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 1510-1517.
    18. Yuan, Jiahai & Xu, Yan & Hu, Zheng & Zhao, Changhong & Xiong, Minpeng & Guo, Jingsheng, 2014. "Peak energy consumption and CO2 emissions in China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 508-523.
    19. Karlsson, Rasmus, 2012. "Carbon lock-in, rebound effects and China at the limits of statism," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 939-945.
    20. Wang, Run & Liu, Wenjuan & Xiao, Lishan & Liu, Jian & Kao, William, 2011. "Path towards achieving of China's 2020 carbon emission reduction target--A discussion of low-carbon energy policies at province level," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 2740-2747, May.
    21. Rout, Ullash K. & Voβ, Alfred & Singh, Anoop & Fahl, Ulrich & Blesl, Markus & Ó Gallachóir, Brian P., 2011. "Energy and emissions forecast of China over a long-time horizon," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 1-11.
    22. Khanna, Nina Zheng & Zhou, Nan & Fridley, David & Ke, Jing, 2016. "Quantifying the potential impacts of China's power-sector policies on coal input and CO2 emissions through 2050: A bottom-up perspective," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 128-138.

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