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Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions during urbanization: A comparative study between China and Japan

Ouyang, Xiaoling, Lin, Boqiang
Journal of cleaner production 2017 v.143 pp. 356-368
carbon, carbon dioxide, cement, emissions factor, energy, energy conservation, greenhouse gas emissions, income, issues and policy, manufacturing, models, planning, urbanization, China, Japan
As the world's largest emitter of CO2, China is facing increasing domestic and international pressures on emissions mitigation. Considering Japan's leading position in energy conservation, this paper conducts a comparative study between China and Japan at the urbanization stages to analyze the similarities as well as differences of influencing factors of CO2 emissions. Results indicate that although CO2 emissions in Japan and China showed the similar characteristics of rigid growth during the urbanization processes, significant differences exist in factors such as CO2 emissions per capita, energy structure and energy intensity between the two countries, which are the determinants for CO2 emissions growth. A cointegration model is constructed to examine the long-run equilibrium relationship between CO2 emissions and factors including GDP, urbanization level, energy intensity and cement manufacture. Empirical results show that there is a quadratic relationship between income growth and CO2 emissions. Granger causality test is then adopted to explore the causal relationships among the variables. The future CO2 emissions and emission reduction potentials in China are estimated based on scenario analysis. Finally, Japan's valuable experience of reducing energy intensity and optimizing energy structure is concluded to provide important policy implications for China's strategic low-carbon planning and low carbon transition.