Section 73
Chapter 72,553

Socio-economic drivers of rising CO2 emissions at the sectoral and sub-regional levels in the Yangtze River Economic Belt

Zhang, Z.; Yu, Y.; Wang, D.; Kharrazi, A.; Ren, H.; Zhou, W.; Ma, T.

Journal of Environmental Management 290: 112617


ISSN/ISBN: 1095-8630
PMID: 33887636
DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.112617
Accession: 072552060

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As the world's largest inland shipping channel, the Yangtze River Economic Belt (YREB) is strategic to China's sustainable development where policymakers are increasingly emphasizing not only this region's economic development but also its CO2 emission reduction targets. To achieve emission targets in the YREB region, it is essential to identify the driving forces of its CO2 emissions. However, existing studies are not very refined and only examine the overall effects of drivers on CO2 emission changes, while neglecting the sub-regional and sectoral level effects across China. More refined research, therefore, will provide better-targeted policies for emission reduction relevant to regional levels such as the YREB region. Towards this end, this paper integrates the methods of structural decomposition analysis and attribution analysis to demonstrate the driving forces, at both sub-regional and sectoral levels, for YREB's emission changes from 2002 to 2012. Our results reveal the following: (1) Jiangsu Province has always been the main regional source of increasing CO2 emissions in the YREB, accounting for more than 20% of total CO2 emission growth. (2) The Electricity and Heat Production and Supply sector is responsible for most of the increases in CO2 emissions, both in 2002-2007 (609.8 Mt, 54.8%) and 2007-2012 (287.6 Mt, 34%). (3) During the period of 2007-2012, changes in per capita final demand were the primary driving force for the increases in CO2 emissions, while changes in CO2 emission intensity were the largest driving force for decreasing CO2 emissions, respectively accounting for 179.9% and -119.4% of total emission changes in the YREB region. (4) Moreover, the effect of emission intensity mainly exists in the Electricity and Heat Production and Supply sector in the Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, accounting for respectively, 10% and 10.4% of the total effects across all economic sectors. Considering the diverse impacts of driving forces in different sub-regions and economic sectors, policymakers should apply more refined measures to utilize varying driving forces in different sub-regions and economic sectors towards sustainable development.

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