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Driving forces and mitigation potential of global CO2 emissions from 1980 through 2030: Evidence from countries with different income levels

Dong, Kangyin, Jiang, Hongdian, Sun, Renjin, Dong, Xiucheng
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.649 pp. 335-343
carbon dioxide, energy, greenhouse gas emissions, income, issues and policy
To mitigate global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in an effective manner, it is essential to identify the driving forces and estimate the reduction potential of changes to CO2 emissions. Using an extended logarithmic mean Divisia index (LMDI) method, this study decomposes the changes in global emissions between 1980 and 2015 with consideration of different income levels; it also reports on scenario analysis of the global emissions reduction potential up to the year 2030 to explore feasible mitigation pathways. The results suggest that the key driving force responsible for promoting global emissions from 1980 through 2015 is income, while energy intensity is the most significant factor in inhibiting global emissions. Furthermore, the countries with the largest reductions in global emissions are mainly upper-middle-income (UMI) countries. The key driving forces of emissions changes in countries with different income levels offer mixed results. In addition, the forecast results indicate that the future emissions reduction potential across the globe is significant and that UMI countries offer the greatest emissions mitigation potential. Finally, this study provides several targeted policy suggestions for reducing emissions across the globe.