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A spatial-temporal decomposition analysis of China's carbon intensity from the economic perspective

Chen, Chen, Zhao, Tao, Yuan, Rong, Kong, Yingchao
Journal of cleaner production 2019 v.215 pp. 557-569
carbon, carbon dioxide, energy, greenhouse gas emissions, China
To reduce carbon intensity efficiently, it is important to identify regional differences of China's carbon intensity considering the decoupling relationship between economic output and carbon emissions. This paper divided China's 30 provinces into 4 regions based on the relationship between the average annual growth rates of CO2 emissions and GDP, and explored the driving forces of carbon intensity in 2000 and 2015 for China's 30 provinces and 4 regions This decomposition method can provide the rankings and specific drivers of carbon intensity, including energy intensity, industrial structure and energy structure. The results show that during 2000–2015, all provinces' carbon intensity decreased except for Hainan. Ningxia, Shanxi, Guizhou, Qinghai and Xinjiang were the five top provincial drivers of the carbon intensity growth in China. Energy intensity was the most important driving factor influencing the change of carbon intensity. Industrial structure and energy structure had small effects on the change of carbon intensity. Moreover, the region III with a high CO2 emission growth rate and a low GDP growth rate had a poor performance of carbon intensity, due to the large impact of energy intensity. Based on the results of this study, the reduction in carbon intensity could be achieved by further reducing energy intensity, optimizing energy and industrial structure, especially in the provinces with fast CO2 growth rates and slow GDP growth rates.