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Driving forces of national and regional carbon intensity changes in China: Temporal and spatial multiplicative structural decomposition analysis

Cao, Ye, Zhao, Yuhuan, Wang, Hongxia, Li, Hao, Wang, Song, Liu, Ya, Shi, Qiaoling, Zhang, Yongfeng
Journal of cleaner production 2019 v.213 pp. 1380-1410
carbon, carbon dioxide, coasts, electricity, greenhouse gas emissions, manufacturing, metals, mining, spatial variation, temporal variation, China
With the increasing pressure on reducing CO2 emissions, China promised to reduce carbon intensity by 60–65% by 2030 from 2005 levels. This study aims at identifying the driving forces of national and regional carbon intensity changes in China at multiple levels by a newly extended multiplicative structural decomposition analysis. Attribution analysis is further adopted to identify sectors with large intensity-reduction potential. National and regional carbon intensity changes during 2007–2012 are decomposed into three determinants: intensity (or efficiency) effect, input structure effect and final demand effect. Temporal decomposition results suggest that 29.0% decline of national carbon intensity is mainly due to intensity effect, while input structure and final demand effect drive the increment of national carbon intensity. Eight regions are divided into two groups: carbon intensity in Northwest, South Coast and Northeast increased due to input structure and final demand effect; carbon intensity in other regions decreased due to intensity effect and final demand effect. Investment and export are the dominant final demand categories to carbon intensity decline in most regions. Spatial decomposition results reveal the huge contribution discrepancy of driving forces among 30 provinces, and 30 provinces are accordingly classified into four groups. For most regions, simultaneously optimizing input structure and final demand are preferred in sectors with large intensity-reduction potential like Mining, Manufacture, Metals and metal productions and Production and supply of electricity, gas and water. Targeted intensity-reduction strategies at multiple levels are suggested.