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Regional embodied carbon emissions and their transfer characteristics in China

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  • Zhou, Dequn
  • Zhou, Xiaoyong
  • Xu, Qing
  • Wu, Fei
  • Wang, Qunwei
  • Zha, Donglan

Abstract

Estimating embodied carbon emissions (ECEs) in inter-regional trade and uncovering their transfer characteristics are of great significance to the efficient allocation of regional carbon responsibilities. With a multi-regional input-output (MRIO) model, this study first estimated the China’s regional ECEs during 2002–2012, and then investigated how they transferred through major regions and key industries. Finally, a structural decomposition analysis (SDA) was used to analyze the driving factors of changes in China’s regional ECEs. The results indicate that: (1) China’s regional ECEs have increased by 197%, from 518 Mt in 2002 to 1537 Mt in 2012; (2) ECEs have mainly transferred from less developed regions like northwest to developed regions like east coast through carbon-intensive manufacturing industries, testifying that “pollution heaven” hypothesis did work in China to some extent; (3) inter-regional trade scale growth was the dominant factor in increasing regional ECEs, while technological progress in exporting regions played a key restraining role. Based on the results, we provide some relevant suggestions for China’s regional carbon reduction policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhou, Dequn & Zhou, Xiaoyong & Xu, Qing & Wu, Fei & Wang, Qunwei & Zha, Donglan, 2018. "Regional embodied carbon emissions and their transfer characteristics in China," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 180-193.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:streco:v:46:y:2018:i:c:p:180-193
    DOI: 10.1016/j.strueco.2018.05.008
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