Natural Hazards

, Volume 69, Issue 1, pp 1109–1122 | Cite as

Decomposing the changes of energy-related carbon emissions in China: evidence from the PDA approach

  • Yue-Jun ZhangEmail author
  • Ya-Bin Da
Original Paper


In order to investigate the main drivers of CO2 emissions changes in China during the 11th Five-Year Plan period (2006–2010) and seek the main ways to reduce CO2 emissions, we decompose the changes of energy-related CO2 emissions using the production-theoretical decomposition analysis approach. The results indicate that, first, economic growth and energy consumption are the two main drivers of CO2 emissions increase during the sample period; particularly in the northern coastal, northwest and central regions, where tremendous coal resources are consumed, the driving effect of their energy consumption on CO2 emissions appears fairly evident. Second, the improvement of carbon abatement technology and the reduction in energy intensity play significant roles in curbing carbon emissions, and comparatively the effect of carbon abatement technology proves more significant. Third, energy use technical efficiency, energy use technology and carbon abatement technical efficiency have only slight influence on CO2 emissions overall. In the end, we put forward some policy recommendations for China’s government to reduce CO2 emissions intensity in the future.


CO2 emissions PDA Distance functions Environmental DEA 



We gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (nos. 71001008, 71273028), Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education (no. 20101101120041), Excellent Talent Research Fund of Beijing Municipality (no. 2011D009011000008) and Basic Research Fund of Beijing Institute of Technology (no. 20122142008).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Management and EconomicsBeijing Institute of TechnologyBeijingChina
  2. 2.Center for Energy & Environmental Policy ResearchBeijing Institute of TechnologyBeijingChina

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