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Who is responsible for the CO2 emissions that China produces?

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Abstract

Most climate scientists around the world are concerned about global warming. These concerns have resulted in calls for reductions in CO2 emissions over time. If these calls are to be heeded, an appropriate emissions accounting method must first be agreed upon by CO2 emitting countries, none of which are more important than China. This paper estimates China’s CO2 emissions in 2002 and in 2007 using firstly a production-based, and then a consumption-based, accounting method, both in aggregate and at the sectoral industry level. Our objectives are firstly to investigate the recent trends in Chinese emissions of CO2, and secondly to reveal the extent of the differences in the estimates produced by these two methods. Our estimates confirm what others have found, namely that Chinese emissions of CO2 increased substantially over this relatively short time period. Furthermore, the consumption-based method results in China being responsible for 38% fewer emissions in 2007 than would be the case with the production-based method. Problems caused by global warming will only be ameliorated if an acceptable worldwide distribution of responsibilities for emissions reduction efforts can be found. We believe that the consumption based method is more appropriate because it allocates responsibilities according to final consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Ying Liu & Kankesu Jayanthakumaran & Frank Neri, 2012. "Who is responsible for the CO2 emissions that China produces?," Economics Working Papers wp12-08, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
  • Handle: RePEc:uow:depec1:wp12-08
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    Cited by:

    1. Yuhuan Zhao & Zhonghua Zhang & Song Wang & Shaojun Wang, 2014. "CO 2 Emissions Embodied in China's Foreign Trade: An Investigation from the Perspective of Global Vertical Specialization," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 22(4), pages 102-120, July.
    2. Chen, Jiandong & Cheng, Shulei & Song, Malin, 2017. "Decomposing inequality in energy-related CO2 emissions by source and source increment: The roles of production and residential consumption," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 698-710.
    3. Jayanthakumaran, Kankesu & Liu, Ying, 2016. "Bi-lateral CO2 emissions embodied in Australia–China trade," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 205-213.
    4. Boya Zhang & Shukuan Bai & Yadong Ning & Tao Ding & Yan Zhang, 2020. "Emission Embodied in International Trade and Its Responsibility from the Perspective of Global Value Chain: Progress, Trends, and Challenges," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(8), pages 1-26, April.
    5. López, Ramón E. & Yoon, Sang W., 2020. "Sustainable development: Structural transformation and the consumer demand," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 22-38.
    6. Ding, Tao & Ning, Yadong & Zhang, Yan, 2018. "The contribution of China’s bilateral trade to global carbon emissions in the context of globalization," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 78-88.
    7. Grebel, Thomas & Stützer, Michael, 2014. "Assessment of the environmental performance of European countries over time: Addressing the role of carbon leakage and nuclear waste," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 90, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    CO2 emissions; China; Accounting Methods;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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