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Energy consumption and carbon footprint accounting of urban and rural residents in Beijing through Consumer Lifestyle Approach

Chen, Caocao, Liu, Gengyuan, Meng, Fanxin, Hao, Yan, Zhang, Yan, Casazza, Marco
Ecological indicators 2019 v.98 pp. 575-586
carbon, carbon dioxide, carbon footprint, conjugated linoleic acid, energy, environmental indicators, greenhouse gas emissions, infrastructure, issues and policy, lifestyle, rural areas, urban areas, urbanization, China
Household carbon emissions are major contributors to global emissions that is increasing recognized. In China, approximately 20 million rural populations transfer to the urban areas annually, which results in a lot of new infrastructure construction and consumer requirements. This paper quantifies the numbers and trends of urban and rural resident on energy use and carbon footprint in Beijing from 1996 to 2011 by analysis of Consumer Lifestyle Approach (CLA) and carbon footprint. It provides a better understanding of complete energy consumption and carbon emissions profile in Beijing. The results show that for the Beijing residents, when direct and indirect energy consumption and CO2 emissions are taken into account, the total household energy consumption proportion compared to the city increases from 22.7% to 59.2%, and the total household CO2 emissions proportion increases from 32.2% to 68.8% in the research period. In the urbanization process, total energy consumption and carbon emissions of Beijing urban residents are significantly higher than those of rural residents. However, the transformation of a rural Beijing resident into an urban Beijing resident would not create a large difference between urban and rural areas in the per-capita energy consumption and per-capita carbon footprint. Results are assessed with respect to the available scientific literature, as well as potential available technological and policy solutions. Since the implementation that different policy instruments can mitigate carbon emissions, governments are gradually combining policy measures for the same technology. The results in this paper may help promote alternative consumption strategies in household sector which could entail more reasonable resource distribution and effective reduction of both urban and rural environmental influences.