A Study on Relationship between CO2 Emissions and Economic Development in China Based on Dematerialization Theory

Xingjun Ru; Shaofeng Chen; Hongxiang Dong
December 2012
Energy & Environment Research;Dec2012, Vol. 2 Issue 2, p37
Academic Journal
Understanding the relationship between economic development and the factors causing the environmental pressures is the basic premise of formulating and adjusting the environmental policy. A sound environmental policy should be effective to reduce or mitigate the environment pressures and simultaneously maintain economic development. According to the theory of dematerialization, which is a method to describe the relationship between economic growth and the environment pressures, we divide target research stage (1960-2008) into 5 sub-time periods, that is 1960-1969, 1970-1979, 1980-1989, 1990-1999, 2000-2008, then inspect the relationship among GDP per capita, carbon emissions and intensity of carbon emissions in China. We find that absolute dematerialization occurs in 1960-1969, materialization occurs in 1970-1979, relative dematerialization occurs in 1980-1989, 1990-1999 and 2000-2008. On terms of the whole study period, relative dematerialization is occurring; from 1960 to 2008, when economic development changes 1%, carbon emissions, carbon emissions intensity and environmental pressures change 0.59%,-0.34% and 0.84% respectively, which shows that the relationship of environmental pressures and economic development, carbon emissions and economic development are relative decoupling.


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