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Current status and future choices of regional sectors-energy-related CO2 emissions: The third economic growth pole of China

Tan, Feifei, Lu, Zhaohua
Applied energy 2015 v.159 pp. 237-251
carbon dioxide, economic development, energy, environmental policy, evolution, greenhouse gas emissions, models, China
Understanding the current evolution and drivers behind regional sectors’ growing energy-related CO2 emissions is critical for developing global climate policies and providing insights into how our emerging economies can target lower emissions in the future. We propose estimation and explanation models of sectors’ energy-related CO2 emissions and present a novel scenario design, all of which are originally applied in the CO2 emissions of the third economic growth pole of China (i.e., the Bohai Rim region) during period 2002–2011. We can therefore track the evolution and cumulative change therein, identifying key drivers of CO2 emissions change, and performing scenario analysis and projection. The estimation results show that CO2 emissions on both regional and provincial scales are maintaining an upward trend. On the whole, Shandong has the largest emissions in absolute terms, followed by Hebei, Liaoning, Tianjin and Beijing during this period, while all sectors’ CO2 emissions changes show a fluctuating trend. With the exception of the residential life sector, all sectors’ cumulative changes have increased over time. In addition, the explanation of the results prove that changes in per capita GDP and energy intensity are, respectively, the most significant stimulator and inhibitor for emissions’ current status. Similarly, whether changes in sectoral structure play a positive or negative role depends on the increase or decrease in each sectors’ share in total GDP. Moreover, all sectors’ emissions in the Bohai Rim region will increase significantly regardless of the scenario. We can therefore achieve our 2020 CO2 mitigation targets across all sectors only under a scenario whose annual average GDP growth rates and energy consumption are both set by the “12th Five-Year Plan.”