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Research on the changing trend of the carbon footprint of residents’ consumption in Beijing

Fan, Zhenting, Lei, Yalin, Wu, Sanmang
Environmental science and pollution research international 2019 v.26 no.4 pp. 4078-4090
carbon, carbon dioxide, carbon footprint, coal, education, electricity, energy, gasoline, greenhouse gas emissions, industry, models, rural areas, transportation, urban areas, China
Emission of greenhouse gas is a global environmental problem. In recent years, China has been facing growing international pressure because of its large energy consumption and elevated greenhouse gas emissions. As the capital of China, Beijing is central to the study of carbon emission reduction since its carbon emissions have ranked at the forefront nationwide. The existing literature mainly revolves around carbon emissions of a few specific years, and there is a lack of trend study of multiple years in Beijing. This paper, based on the input-output method, calculates carbon emissions in Beijing by carbon footprints; the changing trend analysis was carried out by researching available statistical data of three years, 2002, 2007, and 2012, from the perspective of the entire city of Beijing and from that of urban and rural residents’ consumption. The reasons for the changing trends of total carbon emission in Beijing have also been analysed using the Structural Decomposition Analysis (SDA) model. Results show that the total direct carbon footprint as well as the urban and rural direct carbon footprints of residents’ consumption in Beijing is all increasing gradually. The direct carbon footprint of urban residents’ consumption is mainly produced by electricity, gasoline, and heating power, while that of rural residents’ consumption is mainly produced by raw coal and electricity. The indirect carbon footprint of residents’ consumption in Beijing is increasing gradually, and that of urban areas is higher than that of rural areas. The compositions of indirect carbon footprints of rural and urban residents’ consumption are consistent, and both come mainly from the transportation and communication industry, housing, food, culture, education, entertainment, etc. The SDA results show that the per capita consumption level is the main driving factor for the increase of the indirect carbon footprint of Beijing residents’ consumption, and the intensity of CO₂ emission is the main inhibiting factor. Finally, suggestions for reducing carbon emissions from urban and rural perspectives have been put forward.