Resources Science ›› 2021, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (4): 639-651.doi: 10.18402/resci.2021.04.01

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Simulating China's carbon emission peak path under different scenarios based on RICE-LEAP model

HONG Jingke, LI Yuanchao(), CAI Weiguang   

  1. School of Management Science and Real Estate, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044, China
  • Received:2020-09-15 Revised:2021-01-31 Online:2021-04-25 Published:2021-06-25
  • Contact: LI Yuanchao


As the world's largest carbon emitter and second largest economy, achieving the carbon emission peak is urgent for China to combat with global climate change. By coupling the Regional Integrated model of Climate and the Economy (RICE) and Long-range Energy Alternative Planning (LEAP) model, this study established a new energy-economy-environment integrated assessment model covering end-use economic sectors. Under the business-as-usual, carbon-constraint, and supply-side structural reform scenarios, China's carbon emission peak path and global climate change trend from 2020 to 2050 were systematically investigated. The results reveal that: (1) China's energy-related carbon emission trajectory presents an inverted U shape under the three dynamic scenarios. Under the supply-side structural reform scenario, carbon emissions peak earliest, with the lowest carbon emission peak in comparison to other scenarios. (2) China's energy-related carbon emissions mainly concentrate in end-use sectors such as industry and transportation, where carbon emissions contribute approximately 80% in a stable manner during the whole investigated period. In addition, carbon intensity in these carbon-intensive sectors drops relatively slowly. (3) Energy structure becomes more optimized and advanced under the supply-side structural reform scenario, where the proportion of non-fossil energy consumption has increased in all end-use sectors, with natural gas and non-fossil energy dominating in the commerce and service industry and households. Therefore, in order to achieve China's carbon emission peak the soonest, the central government should adopt policy-oriented “dual control” goals for the total energy consumption and energy intensity, and make great efforts to adjust industrial structure and optimize energy structure by taking the supply-side structural reform as the main line.

Key words: climate change, carbon emission peak, RICE-LEAP model, scenario analysis, supply-side structural reforms, industrial structure adjustment, energy structure optimization