Energy Efficiency

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 483–496 | Cite as

Modeling on building sector’s carbon mitigation in China to achieve the 1.5 °C climate target

  • Han Chen
  • Lining Wang
  • Wenying ChenEmail author
Original Article


The ambitious goal of limiting end-of-century temperature rise relative to pre-industry level below 1.5 °C will offer both great challenges and opportunities in terms of curbing energy use and CO2 emissions for the building sector of China. This paper simulates the long-term trend (2010–2100) of energy consumption and CO2 emissions of the building sector in China, within the framework of 1.5 °C climate target, with application of GCAM-TU model. The impacts of energy efficiency improvement and carbon policy on energy savings and emission reductions are also explored. The results show that direct CO2 emissions from the building sector would have to peak around 2030, and cumulative emissions during 2015–2100 would be limited to 48.2 Gt CO2 in the 1.5 °C-consistent scenario. The share of electricity in building’s energy consumption by the mid-century would be 8.9% higher than that under 2 °C scenario. Accelerating efficiency improvement would create significant energy savings relative to the reference scenario, especially in space heating and cooling. However, the emission reductions required by the 1.5 °C temperature increase limit cannot be effectively achieved without the collaboration of economic-wide carbon policy, which would play important role in the deep decarbonization of the energy system. Finally, it is suggested that policy makers should further strengthen technological efficiency improvement in the building sector to help enhance energy performance, while carefully devising prospective carbon policies to facilitate fast and early mitigation.


1.5 °C climate target Building energy consumption CO2 emissions Energy efficiency Carbon policy Technology improvement 


Funding information

The authors would like to thank the support from National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 71690243, 51861135102) and Ministry of Science and Technology (2012BAC20B01).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

12053_2018_9687_MOESM1_ESM.docx (24 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 24 kb)
12053_2018_9687_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (42 kb)
ESM 2 (XLSX 41 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Centre for Contemporary Management (RCCM)Tsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Energy, Environment and EconomyTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  3. 3.Economics & Technology Research Institute, CNPCBeijingChina

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