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Structural analysis of indirect carbon emissions embodied in intermediate input between Chinese sectors: a complex network approach

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Abstract

The indirect carbon emission embodied in the intermediate input is also an important indicator of assessing a producer’s carbon emissions. Structural analysis of indirect carbon emissions is helpful to understand the responsibilities between producers and pay efforts to key areas. The aim of this study is to analyze indirect carbon emissions embodied in intermediate input between sectors and explore the distribution structure of indirect carbon emissions flow network (namely, ICEFN). Based on the modified input-output model and complex network theory, this study constructed four directed and weighted ICEFNs with 28 sectors from 1997 to 2012. The results show that indirect carbon emissions between sectors are significantly higher than direct carbon emissions, accounting for nearly 70% of the total carbon emissions of China. Second, we analyzed the embodied carbon emission intensity (namely, ECI) of each sector. Although the ECI has been decreasing over time, the decrease has increasingly diminished, which indicates that the additional carbon emission reductions are more difficult. Third, we identified the key sectors which play different roles in the ICEFNs. Meanwhile, we studied the key paths which show more closed relationships between some sectors in ICEFNs. Finally, based on the above analysis, we made policy recommendations.

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Funding

We are very grateful to the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41701121 and Grant No. 41871202), the Beijing Youth Talents Funds (2017000020124G190), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Grant No. 2-9-2017-041) for the support of our study.

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Correspondence to Huajiao Li.

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Responsible editor: Muhammad Shahbaz

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Appendix

Appendix

Table 4 Sectors’ classification, sectors’ abbreviations, and sector code

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Ma, N., Li, H., Tang, R. et al. Structural analysis of indirect carbon emissions embodied in intermediate input between Chinese sectors: a complex network approach. Environ Sci Pollut Res 26, 17591–17607 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-05053-w

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