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Uncovering driving factors of carbon emissions from China’s mining sector

Shao, Shuai, Liu, Jianghua, Geng, Yong, Miao, Zhuang, Yang, Yingchun
Applied energy 2016 v.166 pp. 220-238
carbon, carbon dioxide, energy, greenhouse gas emissions, issues and policy, mining, natural gas, petroleum, China
China has proposed its ambitious cap targets of carbon emissions in both carbon intensity (CO2 emissions per unit of GDP) and carbon scale (gross carbon emissions). Since mining sector is the foundation of the whole industrial production as well as a carbon intensive sector, it is critical to uncover the key driving factors on inducing corresponding carbon emissions so that appropriate mitigation policies can be raised. Under such a circumstance, this paper aims to fill such a research gap by employing a novel index decomposition method, namely, Generalized Divisia Index Method (GDIM), so that the driving factors of energy-related carbon emissions changes in China’s mining sector and its five sub-sectors over the period of 1999–2013 can be identified. In addition, a scenario analysis approach is applied in order to seek the feasible mitigation pathways on China’s mining sector and its five sub-sectors. The results indicate that output scale effect is the primary contributor of the increase in carbon emissions of both mining sector and its five sub-sectors and energy use effect also plays a positive role, while carbon intensity effect contributes most to the decrease in carbon emissions. All sub-sectors have achieved the target of 45% carbon intensity reduction except the extraction industry of petroleum and natural gas. Nevertheless, more efforts should be made for the whole mining sector in order to achieve the 2030 peak target of carbon scale.