Resources Science ›› 2019, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (7): 1201-1212.doi: 10.18402/resci.2019.07.02

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Progress of research on carbon emissions of urban household consumption

Yue WANG1,2(), Feng LI3(), Xiao SUN1,2   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, CAS, Beijing 100085, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. School of Architecture, Tsinhua University, Beijing 100084, China
  • Received:2018-08-04 Revised:2019-01-22 Online:2019-07-25 Published:2019-07-25


Carbon emissions from household daily consumption are an important part of global carbon emissions and have become a new growth point. The direct and indirect energy consumption and carbon emissions of Chinese households are gradually expanding, which poses a problem for the country to achieve emission reduction targets. This study used bibliometrics and comparative analysis to clarify the progress of research on carbon emissions of household consumption in order to determine the main contents and applicability of carbon emission coefficient method, input-output model, life cycle assessment, and consumer lifestyle approach. The advantages, disadvantages, and applicable situations of different carbon emission quantitative analysis methods were compared. The four main factors influencing the results of research in empirical analysis are validity of questionnaire data, difference of behavior patterns of household consumption, community impact, and rebound effect. Since 2009, the total amount of research on household carbon emissions has increased year by year, and the number of research based on macro-statistical data is significantly higher than that based on household surveys. Carbon emission coefficient method and input-output method are the two most common carbon emission accounting approaches, the choice of which depends on the purpose of the research and the availability of data. Full consideration of the factors affecting household carbon emissions and proper optimization of accounting methods are useful in improving the accuracy of the research results. Our research provides a reference for future research perspectives and accounting methods of carbon emissions of urban household consumption. It also provides a scientific basis for carbon emissions management of urban household.

Key words: consumption patterns, carbon emissions, urban household, energy consumption, ecological management, bibliometrics