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CO2 emissions and mitigation potential of the Chinese manufacturing industry

Yan, Xiao, Fang, Yi-ping
Journal of cleaner production 2015 v.103 pp. 759-773
carbon dioxide, economic structure, electricity, emissions factor, energy, greenhouse gas emissions, manufacturing, metals, pressing, China
Energy-related CO2 emissions of the Chinese manufacturing industry are critically important for China and for the entire world. This study addresses the historical trajectory and features of CO2 emissions in the Chinese manufacturing industry, investigates the influencing factors of CO2 emission changes utilizing the logarithmic mean Divisia index (LMDI) method, and explores the mitigation potential based on scenario analyses. The results show the following: (1) CO2 emissions experienced spectacular but unsteady growth during the 1993–2011 period, although CO2 emissions intensity presented a downward trend; (2) the coal-dominant emissions structure was subject to an electricity-dominant emissions structure; (3) the smelting and pressing of ferrous metals (C32), manufacture of raw chemical materials and chemical products (C26) and manufacture of non-metallic mineral products (C31) were the top three sectors, combining to account for approximately 60% of total emissions; (4) the economic scale was the major driving factor and energy intensity was the most important diminishing factor of CO2 emissions, and the effects of the emission coefficient, energy structure and economic structure were minuscule; and (5) CO2 emissions mitigation in the future will mainly depend on drops in energy intensity, declines in emission coefficient of electricity and upgrades in economic structure – their additive effects on CO2 emissions reductions will be 5412 Mt in 2020. However, energy structure adjustment with the proportion of electricity increasing is not beneficial in terms of CO2 emissions reductions, because of electricity's high emission factor.