Abstract China has experienced rapid urbanization in the last three decades, with more than half of the population living in cities since 2012. The extent of urban production and urban lifestyles has become one of the main drivers for China's \CO2\ emissions. To analyze drivers of \CO2\ emissions we use a consumption-based accounting approach that allocates all emissions along the production chain to the product and place of final consumption, whereas a production-based approach would allocate all emissions to the place of origin. In this study, we focus on the spatial distribution of production activities leading to \CO2\ emissions across China as a consequence of final consumption in four Chinese mega cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Chongqing. Urban consumption not only causes a large amount of emissions within its territory, but also imposes even much more emissions to its surrounding provinces via interregional supply chains. Results show that more than 48% of \CO2\ emissions related to goods consumed in Chongqing and more than 70% for Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin occurred outside of the respective city boundary. In addition to the usual focus on efficiency, our analysis adds insights into the causes of \CO2\ emissions by looking at the drivers and types of consumption. Addressing consumption patterns in China's cities is critical for China's low carbon development.
China committed itself to reduce the carbon intensity of its economy (the amount of CO2 emitted per unit of GDP) by 40–45% during 2005–2020. Yet, between 2002 and 2009, China experienced a 3% increase in carbon intensity, though trends differed greatly among its 30 provinces. Decomposition analysis shows that sectoral efficiency gains in nearly all provinces were offset by movement towards a more carbon-intensive economic structure. Such a sectoral shift seemed to be heavily affected by the growing role of investments and capital accumulation in China’s growth process which has favoured sectors with high carbon intensity. Panel data regressions show that changes in carbon intensity were smallest in sectors dominating the regional economy (so as not to endanger these large sectors, which are the mainstay of the provincial economy), whereas scale and convergence effects played a much smaller role.
Primary PM2.5 emissions contributed significantly to poor air quality in China. We present an interdisciplinary study to measure the magnitudes of socioeconomic factors in driving primary PM2.5 emission changes in China between 1997–2010, by using a regional emission inventory as input into an environmentally extended input–output framework and applying structural decomposition analysis. Our results show that China's significant efficiency gains fully offset emissions growth triggered by economic growth and other drivers. Capital formation is the largest final demand category in contributing annual PM2.5 emissions, but the associated emission level is steadily declining. Exports is the only final demand category that drives emission growth between 1997–2010. The production of exports led to emissions of 638 thousand tonnes of PM2.5, half of the EU27 annual total, and six times that of Germany. Embodied emissions in Chinese exports are largely driven by consumption in OECD countries.
The Chinese electricity sector plays an important role in domestic \CO2\ mitigation efforts due to its large contribution to overall emissions. However, primary energy resources used for electricity generation are not evenly distributed across the country. Such a supply and demand mismatch in reality results in large parts of electricity to be transferred from economically less developed provinces in the west to economic growth centres in the east. A literature review shows that the emissions embodied in electricity transfer within China have not been explicitly studied, although in fact they cause a shift of environmental pollution away from economically well-off provinces to resource-rich, and less developed provinces. Therefore, it is critical for policy makers to address this issue. Under such a circumstance, a bottom-up model is developed to calculate direct \CO2\ emissions embodied in electricity export and import between Chinese provinces. It helps quantifying emissions from the power sector associated with both production and consumption perspectives and sheds lights on the environmental impact of regional supply and demand mismatch in China. Results show that the difference between consumption and production based \CO2\ emissions from electricity sector in some provinces were higher than the total \CO2\ emissions from electricity sector in Netherlands (in the case of Beijing), or as high as the total \CO2\ emission from France’s electricity sector (in the case of Guangdong). Based upon Chinese realities, policy implications and suggestions are made, such as how to set up appropriate emission reduction targets for electricity sector at provincial level, and the inclusion of consumption emissions in designing China’s cap-and-trade mechanism. The methodology and findings may be useful for investigation of embodied emissions throughout various regions of the world.
This study proposed a novel way for global greenhouse gas reduction through reusing China’s waste oil to produce biofuels. Life cycle greenhouse gas mitigation potential of aviation bio-kerosene and biodiesel derived from China’s waste oil in 2010 was equivalent to approximately 28.8% and 14.7% of mitigation achievements on fossil-based \CO2\ emissions by Annex B countries of the Kyoto Protocol in the period of 1990–2008, respectively. China’s potential of producing biodiesel from waste oil in 2010 was equivalent to approximately 7.4% of China’s fossil-based diesel usage in terms of energy. Potential of aviation bio-kerosene derived from waste oil could provide about 43.5% of China’s aviation fuel demand in terms of energy. Sectors key to waste oil generation are identified from both production and consumption perspectives. Measures such as technology innovation, government supervision for waste oil collection and financial subsidies should be introduced to solve bottlenecks.
Abstract China launched low-carbon city strategy to respond global climate change. Industrial symbiosis (IS) could generate both economic and environmental benefits in clustered industries and communities. This research shed light on how industrial symbiosis contributes to city's low-carbon development. An urban-level hybrid physical input and monetary output (HPIMO) model which covers physical energy inputs and air pollutants emissions, is established for addressing case study in a Chinese typical industrial city (Liuzhou). Based on current energy consumption and industrial symbiosis and the application of \HPIMO\ model, scenarios related to industrial symbiosis, including waste plastics recycling, scrap tires recycling, flying ash recycling and biomass utilization are explored. Results show that compared with business-as-usual (BAU) scenario, İS\} can reduce solid wastes and further contribute to the co-benefits of energy saving, \CO2\ emissions reduction and air pollutants reduction. The finding is critical for national low-carbon strategy. Finally, policy implications to support the ever-improvement of İS\} promotion in China are proposed and discussed.