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China’s regional CO₂ emissions: Characteristics, inter-regional transfer and emission reduction policies

Meng, Lei, Guo, Ju’e, Chai, Jian, Zhang, Zengkai
Energy policy 2011 v.39 no.10 pp. 6136-6144
carbon dioxide, economic impact, emissions factor, energy, energy costs, greenhouse gas emissions, income elasticities, issues and policy, China
This paper analyzes the characteristics of China’s regional CO₂ emissions and effects of economic growth and energy intensity using panel data from 1997 to 2009. The results show that there are remarkable regional disparities among eastern, central and western areas, regional elasticities of per capita GDP and energy intensity on CO₂ emissions, which reflect the regional differences in economic development, economy structure and restraining function of energy intensity decrease on the emission. Energy intensity reducing is more effective to emission abatement for provinces with higher elasticity of energy intensity, but may not be significant for provinces with lower elasticity. The inverse distribution of energy production and consumption, regional unfairness caused by institutional factors like energy price and tax system result in inter-regional CO₂ emission transfer embodied in the power transmission. The calculation indicates that the embodied emission transfer was gradually significant after 2003, from eastern area to the central and western areas, especially energy production provinces in central area, which leads to distortion on the emission and emission intensity. The regional emission reduction targets and supporting policies should be customized and consistent with the actual situations rather than setting the same target for all the provinces.