Science China Earth Sciences

, Volume 53, Issue 2, pp 159–172 | Cite as

On the major proposals for carbon emission reduction and some related issues

  • ZhongLi DingEmail author
  • XiaoNan Duan
  • QuanSheng Ge
  • ZhiQiang Zhang
Research Paper


We evaluated and ran simulations for seven proposals for the reduction of global CO2 emissions (e.g., those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), United Nations Development Program, and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development). All the proposals ignored the fact that the cumulative CO2 emissions per capita for developed countries were 7.54 times those for developing countries in the historical period of 1900–2005. These proposals further deliberately allocate 2006–2050 emission quotas to developed countries that are 2.3–6.7 times those to developing countries. This will seriously violate the development rights of developing countries. This paper clearly states that proposals such as that of the IPCC are not suitable references for future international climate change negotiations as they violate the fundamentals of fairness and equity in international relationships and the UNFCCC principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities”. Comparing estimates of emissions in China in the scenario of rapid development with low-CO2-emission technology in the period 2006–2050 with estimates for other countries and groups, we find that China can logically and morally argue for equivalent emission rights even in the case of the strict CO2 concentration target of 450–470 ppmv.


CO2 emission reduction cumulative CO2 emission per capita emission rights 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Zahn R. Beyond the CO2 connection. Nature, 2009, 460: 335–336CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Knee R A. What happened to global warming? Scientists say just wait a bit. Science, 2009, 326: 28–29Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Soon W. Implications of the secondary role of carbon dioxide and methane forcing in climate change: Past, present, and future. Phys Geogr, 2007, 28: 97–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Summary for Policymakers-Emission Scenarios, Special Report of IPCC Working Group III. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007. 20Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Human Development Report 2007/2008—Fighting Climate Change: Human Solidarity in A Divided World. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. 399Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Environmental Outlook to 2030. Paris: OECD Publishing, 2008. 517Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Garnaut R. The Garnaut Climate Change Review. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008. 634Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Chakravarty S, Chikkatur A, de Coninck H, et al. Sharing global CO2 emission reductions among one billion high emitters. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2009, 106: 11884–11888CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Sørensen B. Pathways to climate stabilization. Energy Policy, 2008, 36: 3505–3509CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007. 996Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Energy Information Administration (EIA). International Energy Outlook. Washington DC: U.S. Department of Energy, 2007. 220Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC). Global, Regional, and National Fossil Fuel CO2 Emissions.
  13. 13.
    Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. World Population Prospects: The 2006 Revision, Dataset on CD-ROM. United Nations, New York, 2007. 96Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ding Z L, Duan X N, Ge Q S, et al. Control of atmospheric CO2 concentrations by 2050: A calculation on the emission rights of different countries. Sci China Ser D-Earth Sci, 2009, 52: 1447–1469CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Canadell J G, Le Quéré C, Raupach M R, et al. Contributions to accelerating atmospheric CO2 growth from economic activity, carbon intensity, and efficiency of natural sink. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2007, 104: 18866–18870CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Fang J Y, Wang S P, Yue C, et al. Scenario analysis on the global carbon emissions reduction goal proposed in the declaration of the 2009 G8 Summit. Sci China Ser D-Earth Sci, 2009, 52: 1694–1702CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Jiang K J, Hu X L, Liu Q, et al. A Study on Low-carbon Development Scenarios of 2050 in China. A Report on China’s Energy and Carbon Emissions in 2050. Beijing: Science Press, 2009. 753–820Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    International Energy Agency (IEA). CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion 2008. Paris: OECD Publishing, 2008. 528CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Pan J H, Chen Y. The carbon budget scheme: an institutional framework for a fair and sustainable world climate regime (in Chinese). Soc Sci China, 2009, 5: 83–99Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    He J K, Liu B, Chen W Y. Analysis on the equity of global climate change issues (in Chinese). China Popul Resour Envir, 2004, 14: 12–15Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Project Team of Development Research Center of the State Council of China. Greenhouse gas emissions reduction: A theoretical framework and global solution (in Chinese). Econ Res J, 2009, 44: 2–13Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Population Statistics. http: // (web database)
  23. 23.
    Hallding K, Han G Y, Olsson M. A Balancing Act: China’s Role in Climate Change. Stockholm: The Commission on Sustainable Development, 2009. 135Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Science in China Press and Springer Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • ZhongLi Ding
    • 1
    Email author
  • XiaoNan Duan
    • 2
  • QuanSheng Ge
    • 3
  • ZhiQiang Zhang
    • 4
  1. 1.CAS Key Lab of Cenozoic Geology and Environment, Institute of Geology and GeophysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.The General Office of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.The Lanzhou Branch of the National Science LibraryScientific Information Center for Resources and Environment of CASLanzhouChina

Personalised recommendations