Main content area

What drives CO2 emissions from the transport sector? A linkage analysis

Du, Huibin, Chen, Zhenni, Peng, Binbin, Southworth, Frank, Ma, Shoufeng, Wang, Yuan
Energy 2019 v.175 pp. 195-204
air, carbon, carbon dioxide, energy, greenhouse gas emissions, industry, supply chain, transportation, China
The objective of this study is an analysis of the relationship between the transportation sector and the rest of the Chinese economy as it impacts the generation of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Using data from input-output tables of China for 2002, 2007, and 2012, the hypothetical extraction method (HEM) was used to quantify these inter-sectoral linkages and decompose the CO2 emissions associated with each transport modal sub-sector (i.e. the rail, road, water, and air sub-sectors). The transport services required by other sectors of the economy are found to induce more carbon emissions than the emissions associated with transportation's own final demands. As the principal CO2 emitter, the road sub-sector's export of CO2 emissions increased substantially from 11.31 to 55.22 million tons (Mt) between 2002 and 2012. In contrast, technological advances within the rail sub-sector resulted in a net decrease in exported CO2 emissions, from 9.99 Mt to 5.16 Mt. Taken as a whole, the transportation sector transferred large CO2 emissions through the economy's various supply chains, notably exporting to the service (63.78 Mt in 2012) and construction (83.88 Mt in 2012) sectors while importing a large amount of CO2 emissions from the nation's energy producing industry (223.52 Mt in 2012).