Exploring change in China's carbon intensity: A decomposition approach

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Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Shandong University
  • Xiamen University


This paper aims to explore the change of CO2 intensity in China at both national and provincial levels. To serve this purpose, we introduce a decomposition model which integrates the merits of index decomposition analysis and production-theoretical decomposition analysis. Based on the decomposition, we also estimate the potential reduction of CO2 intensity for China and its provinces. Using a panel data set including China's 30 provinces during the period of 2006-2012, the empirical analysis is conducted and meaningful results are obtained. First, the potential energy intensity change was the dominant driving factor for the decrease of CO2 intensity, which contributed to a total reduction of 19.8%. Second, the energy efficiency change and the CO2 emission factor change also play positive roles in the CO2 intensity reduction for most provinces. Third, provinces in the western area generally showed a relatively large potential reduction in CO2 intensity, while those in the eastern area only demonstrated a small reduction.


Original languageEnglish
Article number296
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2017


  • Carbon intensity, China, Index decomposition analysis, Production-theoretical decomposition analysis

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