The decomposition of energy-related carbon emission and its decoupling with economic growth in China


In order to find the efficient ways to reduce carbon emission intensity in China, we utilize the LMDI method to decompose the changes of China׳s carbon emissions and carbon emission intensity from 1996 to 2010, from the perspectives of energy sources and industrial structure respectively. Then we introduce the decoupling index to analyze the decoupling relationship between carbon emissions and economic growth in China. The results indicate that, on the one hand, economic growth appeared as the main driver of carbon emissions increase in the past decades, while the decrease of energy intensity and the cleaning of final energy consumption structure played significant roles in curbing carbon emissions; meanwhile, the secondary industry proved the principal source of carbon emissions reduction among the three industries and had relatively higher potential. On the other hand, when the decoupling relationship is considered, most years during the study period saw the relative decoupling effect between carbon emissions and economic growth, which indicated that the reduction effect of inhibiting factors of carbon emissions was less than the driving effect of economic growth, and the economy grew with increased carbon emissions; there appeared the absolute decoupling effect in 1997, 2000 and 2001, which implied that the economy grew while carbon emissions decreased; whereas no decoupling effect was identified in 2003 and 2004.

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 41: 1255-1266
Yabin Da
Yabin Da
Assistant Professor

Research interests include Environmental Economics (Climate Change), Applied Econometrics, and Causal Inference.