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China's carbon emission peak pre-2030: Exploring multi-scenario optimal low-carbon behaviors for China's regions

Sun, Zuoren, Liu, Yandi, Yu, Yanni
Journal of cleaner production 2019 v.231 pp. 963-979
carbon, carbon dioxide, emissions factor, energy, energy conservation, energy resources, greenhouse gas emissions, models, China
As the world's second-largest economy, China plays a pivotal role in global CO2 emission abatement. In this study, we used an IPAT model to design 48 peak CO2 emission scenarios. We used a centralized DEA to evaluate the allocative efficiency of scenario-based CO2 emission paths by maximizing the aggregated potential GDP under fixed emission quantities. We found that maintaining relatively high GDP growth (around 6%), reducing energy intensity by about 75% of average annual decline rate of 2005–2015 (around 4%), and increasing non-fossil energy to 21% to meet the Innovation plan of energy technology revolution 2016–2030 requirements is the most efficient low-carbon behaviors towards 2030 peak CO2 emissions of 10.57 Gt. We also found that China can potentially reduce CO2 emission intensity (CEI) by up to 72.7% compared to the 2005 level in 2030, and therefore that official CEI reduction targets (60–65%) are well within reach. CEI will not readily converge in future years due to the large differences in energy-saving and emission abatement potential across different regions in China; the rank of convergence is CO2>CO2 per capita > CEI. Hebei, Shandong, Shanxi, Liaoning, Inner Mongolia, and Xinjiang are key areas in whether or not their respective regions complete the emission reduction task. To this effect, these provinces merit special attention.