A Comparison of Household Carbon Emission Patterns of Urban and Rural China over the 17 Year Period (1995-2011)

Jiansheng Qu; Maraseni, Tek; Lina Liu; Zhiqiang Zhang; Yusaf, Talal
September 2015
Energies (19961073);Sep2015, Vol. 8 Issue 9, p10537
Academic Journal
The household sector consumes a large amount of goods and services and is therefore a major source of global carbon emissions. This study aims to analyze per person household carbon emission (HCEs) patterns of urban and rural China over the period from 1995 to 2011. Annual macroeconomic data for the study were obtained from authentic Chinese government sources. Direct HCE estimates for each fossil fuel were obtained using the IPCC's reference approach, and indirect HCEs were calculated by input-output analysis. In 1995, per person HCEs from direct sources for urban and rural China were 0.50 tCO2 and 0.22 tCO2, respectively; by 2011, these values had increased to 0.60 tCO2 and 0.61 tCO2, an increase of 20% and 177.27%, respectively. Similarly, in 1995, per person HCEs from indirect sources for urban and rural China were 0.43 tCO2 and 0.16 tCO2, respectively; by 2011, these values had increased to 1.77 tCO2 and 0.53 tCO2, respectively, an increase of 306% and 235%. The reasons for these differences and the sets of policies required to rectify increasing emissions are discussed. If current trends and practices continue, with a RMB1000 increase in per capita income from 2011 levels, per person HCEs in urban and rural China will increase by 0.119 tCO2 and 0.197 tCO2, respectively. This result indicates that the sector of society which is most vulnerable will contribute most to China's increasing HCEs. Therefore, while developing energy consumption and emissions reduction policies and programs, principles of fairness and equity need to be followed.


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