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A multi-criteria decision analysis model for carbon emission quota allocation in China's east coastal areas: Efficiency and equity

Qin, Quande, Liu, Yuan, Li, Xin, Li, Huanan
Journal of cleaner production 2017 v.168 pp. 410-419
carbon, carbon markets, coasts, emissions, energy efficiency, models, multi-criteria decision making, river deltas, China, Yangtze River
The allocation of carbon emission quotas is recognized as a fundamental and critical step towards the establishment of an effective nationwide carbon emissions trading (CET) market in China. This paper aims to examine the quota allocation pertaining to China's east coastal areas. These regions are pioneers in reformation and the domestic heavy emitters. In this paper, a multi-criteria decision analysis model is proposed. This model is based on the principles of efficiency and equity. In order to reflect the true efficiency of carbon emissions, a weighted Russell direction distance model is employed. Three criteria, namely capacity, responsibility and potential, are used to evaluate the degrees of equity. Furthermore, different situations are set to evaluate the related indicators. The results indicate the following: (1) Industrial provinces have less carbon emission quota increments. (2) The Yangtze River Delta Economic Zone has notably improved energy efficiency, and future quota increments correspond with the zone's current carbon emissions. (3) Circum-Bohai Sea Economic Zone will be a major buyer of carbon emission quotas, while Pan-Pearl River Delta Economic Zone currently receives surplus quota. (4) The overall allocation of quotas converts from uneven to even as a result of GDP growth. These results provide a reference for collaborative regional reductions in carbon emissions and for the construction of a CET market.