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Patterns and drivers of household carbon footprint of the herdsmen in the typical steppe region of inner Mongolia, China: A case study in Xilinhot City

Zhao, Yanyun, Zhang, Qing, Li, Frank Yonghong
Journal of cleaner production 2019 v.232 pp. 408-416
carbon dioxide, carbon footprint, case studies, demography, energy, global warming, greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gases, household income, households, infrastructure, life cycle assessment, pastoralism, rural areas, steppes, structural equation modeling, China
Understanding the household carbon footprint (HCF) and its relevant drivers is the foundation for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to mitigate global warming. Many HCF studies have been conducted in urban or rural areas, while little is known about pastoral areas. We surveyed 404 herdsmen households in the typical steppe region of Inner Mongolia to evaluate their direct and indirect HCF following the life cycle assessment (LCA) approach, and analyzed the driving factors by structural equation modeling (SEM). We found that (1) the average HCF of herdsmen in the region was 6.56 t CO2, and the proportion of the indirect HCF was slightly higher (52.23%) than that of the direct HCF (47.77%); (2) the HCF was influenced, in order of importance, by the economic level, demographic characteristics, and geographical position of the household. The economic level directly influenced the HCF, while the demographic characteristics and geographic positions indirectly affected the HCF by affecting the economic level; (3) the HCF exhibited a significant positive correlation with annual household income. Changes in the energy and dietary structure, and the development of public infrastructure are recommended to reduce the HCF.