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Carbon emission intensity of electricity generation in Belt and Road Initiative countries: a benchmarking analysis

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The scope of this study is to analyze the carbon emissions intensity of electricity generation in “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) countries. The total CO2 emissions from electricity generation in BRI nations increases from 4232.34 Mt in 2013 to 4402.38 Mt in 2015, accounting for 34.45% of global CO2 emissions from electricity generation. Logarithmic mean Divisia index methodology is applied to analyze the drivers of carbon emissions intensity in BRI nations. The decomposition results revealed that the regional carbon emissions intensity in BRI nations increases during 2013–2015 and the power generation efficiency is the essential factor to improve carbon emissions performance in BRI developing countries. For BRI developing countries, promoting clean and efficient thermal power is a pragmatic priority for green power development.

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    The electricity generated from biomass and waste is excluded but its associated carbon emissions are included when calculating the ACI.

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    IEA World Energy Balance Statistics Database (<>).

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    The fossil fuel mix contains only coal (anthracite, coking coal, lignite, other bituminous coal, and sub-bituminous coal), natural gas, and petroleum (crude oil, diesel oil and fuel oil).


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The authors acknowledge the funding of National Natural Science Foundation of China (71673085), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2018ZD14), Beijing Social Science Fund (16YJB027), and the 111 Project (B18021). The authors would also like to acknowledge great thanks to anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments which largely improve the academic quality of this paper. The usual caveats apply.

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Correspondence to Jiahai Yuan.

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Zhang, X., Zhang, H., Zhao, C. et al. Carbon emission intensity of electricity generation in Belt and Road Initiative countries: a benchmarking analysis. Environ Sci Pollut Res 26, 15057–15068 (2019).

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  • The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)
  • Carbon emission intensity
  • LMDI