Resources Science ›› 2017, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (12): 2265-2274.doi: 10.18402/resci.2017.12.06

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Driving force analysis of carbon emission changes in China

Yanzhi SUN1,2(), Lei SHEN1,2(), Shuai ZHONG1,2, Litao LIU1,2, Na WU1,2, Linpeng LI3, Hanxiao KONG4   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 100101,China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 100049,China
    3. Bureau of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of Qingyuan County,Qingyuan 323800,China
    4. QingdaoNational High-tech Industrial Development Zone,Qingdao 266114,China
  • Received:2017-09-07 Revised:2017-11-05 Online:2017-12-31 Published:2017-12-31


As an important part of economic development,it is essential for carbon emission reduction to clarify factors affecting carbon emission changes in China. Based on input-output analysis (IOA)and structural decomposition analysis (SDA),we demonstrate detailed insights into how diverse driving factors affect carbon emissions. The results indicate that the total carbon emission is increasing from 5.36 to 15.82 billion tons,and carbon emission intensity is reducing from 2.00 to 0.86 t CO2/10000 CNY. The driving factors of these carbon emission changes are decomposed into technology,sectoral connection,economic structure,gross economic scale and population. Technology effect always offsets the carbon emission increase. On the contrary,gross economic scale and population have significant positive effects on carbon emissions. It is noteworthy that sectoral connection effects abruptly change from negative to positive because of industrial policy. In China,industrial policies are mainly divided into macro-control policies and industrial self-adjustment policies. Research shows that policy evolution is conducive to carbon emission reduction:before 2002,macro control policies plays a major role in the change in carbon emissions,and the expansion of economic and population scales increase carbon emissions. Technological progress is the major driving force of carbon emission reduction in this period. from 2002 to 2012,industrial self-adjustment policy has the larger impact on carbon emission reduction. Owing to strengthening industry market competition,energy flow and industrial restructuring are promoted. Energy efficiency is improving,and industrial linkage and economic structure play a more important role in reducing carbon emissions. In the future,technological progress is no longer the only driving force in decreasing carbon emissions,and pathways to carbon emission reduction are diversified.

Key words: carbon emission, carbon emission reduction, input-output analysis (IOA), Structural decomposition analysis (SDA), driving factors, industrial policy, China