Driving forces behind the stagnancy of China's energy-related CO2 emissions from 1996 to 1999: The relative importance of structural change, intensity change and scale change

Libo Wu, Shinji Kaneko, Shunji Matsuoka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

210 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It is noteworthy that income elasticity of energy consumption in China shifted from positive to negative after 1996, accompanied by an unprecedented decline in energy-related CO2 emissions. This paper therefore investigate the evolution of energy-related CO2 emissions in China from 1985 to 1999 and the underlying driving forces, using the newly proposed three-level "perfect decomposition" method and provincially aggregated data. The province-based estimates and analyses reveal a "sudden stagnancy" of energy consumption, supply and energy-related CO2 emissions in China from 1996 to 1999. The speed of a decrease in energy intensity and a slowdown in the growth of average labor productivity of industrial enterprises may have been the dominant contributors to this "stagnancy." The findings of this paper point to the highest rate of deterioration of state-owned enterprises in early 1996, the industrial restructuring caused by changes in ownership, the shutdown of small-scale power plants, and the introduction of policies to improve energy efficiency as probable factors. Taking into account the characteristics of those key driving forces, we characterize China's decline of energy-related CO2 emissions as a short-term fluctuation and incline to the likelihood that China will resume an increasing trend from a lower starting point in the near future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-335
Number of pages17
JournalEnergy Policy
Volume33
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Feb
Externally publishedYes

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structural change
Energy utilization
Plant shutdowns
Energy efficiency
Deterioration
energy
Elasticity
Industry
Power plants
Productivity
Personnel
Decomposition
industrial restructuring
industrial enterprise
state owned enterprise
labor productivity
energy efficiency
elasticity
ownership
power plant

Keywords

  • China
  • Energy-related CO
  • Index decomposition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy(all)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this

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title = "Driving forces behind the stagnancy of China's energy-related CO2 emissions from 1996 to 1999: The relative importance of structural change, intensity change and scale change",
abstract = "It is noteworthy that income elasticity of energy consumption in China shifted from positive to negative after 1996, accompanied by an unprecedented decline in energy-related CO2 emissions. This paper therefore investigate the evolution of energy-related CO2 emissions in China from 1985 to 1999 and the underlying driving forces, using the newly proposed three-level {"}perfect decomposition{"} method and provincially aggregated data. The province-based estimates and analyses reveal a {"}sudden stagnancy{"} of energy consumption, supply and energy-related CO2 emissions in China from 1996 to 1999. The speed of a decrease in energy intensity and a slowdown in the growth of average labor productivity of industrial enterprises may have been the dominant contributors to this {"}stagnancy.{"} The findings of this paper point to the highest rate of deterioration of state-owned enterprises in early 1996, the industrial restructuring caused by changes in ownership, the shutdown of small-scale power plants, and the introduction of policies to improve energy efficiency as probable factors. Taking into account the characteristics of those key driving forces, we characterize China's decline of energy-related CO2 emissions as a short-term fluctuation and incline to the likelihood that China will resume an increasing trend from a lower starting point in the near future.",
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AB - It is noteworthy that income elasticity of energy consumption in China shifted from positive to negative after 1996, accompanied by an unprecedented decline in energy-related CO2 emissions. This paper therefore investigate the evolution of energy-related CO2 emissions in China from 1985 to 1999 and the underlying driving forces, using the newly proposed three-level "perfect decomposition" method and provincially aggregated data. The province-based estimates and analyses reveal a "sudden stagnancy" of energy consumption, supply and energy-related CO2 emissions in China from 1996 to 1999. The speed of a decrease in energy intensity and a slowdown in the growth of average labor productivity of industrial enterprises may have been the dominant contributors to this "stagnancy." The findings of this paper point to the highest rate of deterioration of state-owned enterprises in early 1996, the industrial restructuring caused by changes in ownership, the shutdown of small-scale power plants, and the introduction of policies to improve energy efficiency as probable factors. Taking into account the characteristics of those key driving forces, we characterize China's decline of energy-related CO2 emissions as a short-term fluctuation and incline to the likelihood that China will resume an increasing trend from a lower starting point in the near future.

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