Carbon Footprints and Embodied Carbon Flows Analysis for China's Eight Regions: A New Perspective for Mitigation Solutions

Xi Xie; Wenjia Cai; Yongkai Jiang; Weihua Zeng
August 2015
Sustainability (2071-1050);2015, Vol. 7 Issue 8, p10098
Academic Journal
Carbon footprints have been widely employed as an indicator for total carbon dioxide released by human activities. In this paper, we implemented a multi-regional input-output framework to evaluate the carbon footprints and embodied carbon flows for the eight regions of China from consumption-based perspective. It is found that the construction, electricity/stream supply, and machine manufacturing rank as the top sectors with the largest total carbon emissions. The construction sector alone accounts for 20%-50% of the national emissions. Besides the sectoral carbon footprints, regional footprints and their differences in carbon emissions were also observed. The middle region had the largest total carbon footprints, 1188 million ton, while the capital region ranked the first for its per capita carbon footprint, 7.77 ton/person. In regard to the embodied carbon flows within China, the study detected that the embodied carbon flows take up about 41% of the total carbon footprints of the nation. The northwest region and the eastern coast region are found to be the largest net embodied carbon exporter and importer, respectively. Further investigation revealed significant differences between production-based and consumption-based carbon emissions, both at sectoral and total amounts. Results of this paper can provide specific information to policies on sectoral and regional carbon emission reduction.


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