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Reasons for recent stagnancy of carbon emissions in China's industrial sectors

Wu, Rui, Geng, Yong, Cui, Xiaowei, Gao, Ziyan, Liu, Zhiqing
Energy 2019 v.172 pp. 457-466
carbon, carbon dioxide, emissions factor, energy, greenhouse gas emissions, iron, steel, China
Industrial sector is responsible for the majority of China's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and contributed most to the rapid increment in the first decade of this century. However, CO2 emissions in the industrial sector stagnated due to China's economic slowdown since 2012. This paper aims to estimate the CO2 emissions in China's industrial sector during 2010–2016 to deliver sectoral and regional details and uncover the reasons for the emissions stagnancy. We find that the emission stagnancy is a result of decreasing energy intensity and economic slowdown. Industrial restructuring within the entire industrial sector and emission intensity (emissions per unit of energy consumption) had limited effect on the emissions reduction. From the sectoral perspective, iron & steel and nonmetal sectors accounted for most reduced emissions in China's industrial sectors during 2014–2016. From the regional perspective, the emissions decrease mainly occurred in western and northeastern provinces, rather than more developed coastal provinces. Mitigation policies are raised, including the industrial structure shift from energy-intensive sectors to other sectors and addressing the emissions mitigation in rapid industrializing provinces, such as Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia and Ningxia, so that an earlier and lower emission peak of China's industrial sectors can be achieved.