Frontiers of Earth Science

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 731–739 | Cite as

Alternative industrial carbon emissions benchmark based on input-output analysis

  • Mengyao Han
  • Xi JiEmail author
Research Article


Some problems exist in the current carbon emissions benchmark setting systems. The primary consideration for industrial carbon emissions standards highly relate to direct carbon emissions (power-related emissions) and only a portion of indirect emissions are considered in the current carbon emissions accounting processes. This practice is insufficient and may cause double counting to some extent due to mixed emission sources. To better integrate and quantify direct and indirect carbon emissions, an embodied industrial carbon emissions benchmark setting method is proposed to guide the establishment of carbon emissions benchmarks based on input-output analysis. This method attempts to link direct carbon emissions with inter-industrial economic exchanges and systematically quantifies carbon emissions embodied in total product delivery chains. The purpose of this study is to design a practical new set of embodied intensity-based benchmarks for both direct and indirect carbon emissions. Beijing, at the first level of carbon emissions trading pilot schemes in China, plays a significant role in the establishment of these schemes and is chosen as an example in this study. The newly proposed method tends to relate emissions directly to each responsibility in a practical way through the measurement of complex production and supply chains and reduce carbon emissions from their original sources. This method is expected to be developed under uncertain internal and external contexts and is further expected to be generalized to guide the establishment of industrial benchmarks for carbon emissions trading schemes in China and other countries.


emissions trading scheme benchmarking carbon emissions input-output analysis 


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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources ResearchChineses Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.College of EngineeringPeking UniversityBeijingChina
  3. 3.School of EconomicsPeking UniversityBeijingChina

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