China's carbon emissions growth slows during new phase of economic development

October 25, 2019

Scientists recently revealed that China's annual carbon emissions growth declined significantly from 10% during the 2002-2012 period to 0.3% during the period from 2012-2017. This decelerating trend in carbon emissions is closely related to a new phase of economic development the researchers have dubbed "the new normal."

The results appear in a study conducted by a team from the Academy of Mathematics and Systems Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences along with other collaborators. It will be published in One Earth under the title, "The slowdown in China's carbon emissions growth in the new phase of economic development."

As the researchers show, the slowdown in carbon emissions growth is not accidental. China, as an emerging economy, makes a large contribution to global carbon emissions and understands that stabilizing Earth's climate will rely heavily upon the trajectory of Chinese emissions. Therefore, China has set targets to reduce its own emissions so that. Currently, China is struggling to reduce emissions, thereby achieving the peak of its CO2 emissions on track around 2030 in alignment with its commitment at the Paris Climate Change Conference in November 2015.

According to the current study, China has taken three main actions to help slow its carbon emissions growth:

First, China has dramatically improved energy efficiency. For example, China has promoted a technological "energy revolution" by developing renewable energy, and has also reformed its energy markets. These changes have helped China establish a clean, efficient, economic, safe and sustainable modern energy system. Therefore, the carbon intensity in the mining and textile sectors declined by 56% and 25%, respectively, between 2012 and 2017.

Second, since the 2008 global financial crisis, China has actively pursued economic transformation and focused on increasing the quantity and quality of consumption. In the period immediately after China's accession to the WTO in 2001, exports and investments made large contributions to both China's GDP and emissions. However, in recent years, the proportion of emissions caused by exports has dropped to 19%, while the proportion linked to urban consumption increased dramatically to 21% in 2017. In other words, changes in emissions are shifting from exports and investments to domestic consumption.

Third, China focuses on high-quality development. That is, development patterns are now shifting from rapid growth to sustained growth, with a more inclusive and sustainable economic structure.

All in all, China is continuously improving its development pattern as it focuses on creating a low-carbon, sustainable economy, thereby decelerating the growth of carbon emissions.
The study was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China, the Natural Science Foundation of China, and the University College London-Peking University Strategic Partner Funds.

Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters

Related Carbon Emissions Articles from Brightsurf:

Dietary changes could produce big offsets to carbon emissions
Eating less meat and dairy products in favor of plant-based proteins like those found in grains, legumes and nuts could make a huge difference in how much carbon dioxide reaches the atmosphere.

Carbon-loving materials designed to reduce industrial emissions
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, are advancing gas membrane materials to expand practical technology options for reducing industrial carbon emissions.

Ocean uptake of CO2 could drop as carbon emissions are cut
The ocean is so sensitive to declining greenhouse gas emissions that it immediately responds by taking up less carbon dioxide, says a new study.

Tracking fossil fuel emissions with carbon-14
Researchers from NOAA and the University of Colorado have devised a breakthrough method for estimating national emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels using ambient air samples and a well-known isotope of carbon that scientists have relied on for decades to date archaeological sites.

COVID-19 crisis causes 17% drop in global carbon emissions
The COVID-19 global lockdown has had an 'extreme' effect on daily carbon emissions, but it is unlikely to last -- according to a new analysis by an international team of scientists.

Don't look to mature forests to soak up carbon dioxide emissions
Research published today in Nature suggests mature forests are limited in their ability to absorb 'extra' carbon as atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations increase.

Global supply chains as a way to curb carbon emissions
The coronavirus outbreak raised everyone's awareness of the significance of global supply chains to modern economies.

Scrubbing carbon dioxide from smokestacks for cleaner industrial emissions
An international collaboration co-led by an Oregon State University chemistry researcher has uncovered a better way to scrub carbon dioxide from smokestack emissions, which could be a key to mitigating global climate change.

Global carbon emissions increase but rate has slowed
Global carbon emissions are set to grow more slowly in 2019, with a decline in coal burning offset by strong growth in natural gas and oil use worldwide -- according to new research.

Co-combustion of wood and oil-shale reduces carbon emissions
Utilization of fossil fuels, which represents an increasing environmental risk, can be made more environmentally friendly by adding wood -- as concluded based on the preliminary results of the year-long study carried out by thermal engineers of Tallinn University of Technology.

Read More: Carbon Emissions News and Carbon Emissions Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to