Dynamic simulation of China’s carbon emission reduction potential by 2020


Along with the rapid economic development of China, carbon dioxide (CO\(_{2}\)) emissions will inevitable rise in the future. This will happen even though the Chinese government has made a series of attempts to constrain the CO\(_{2}\)-emissions, and is committed to reduce its CO\(_{2}\)-emissions per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by 40–45 % (1,045–1,140 tons/million dollars) by 2020 from 2005 levels. However, according to estimates the total amount of CO\(_{2}\)-emissions will grow to more than 13 billion tons, and the carbon intensity will be twice of the world average. In order to improve this situation, this research study will construct a comprehensive dynamic simulation model to forecast China’s CO\(_{2}\)-emissions and GDP development under different energy structure adjustment plans and carbon intensity constraints from 2008 to 2020. In addition, find out the trade-off between Chinese carbon intensity reduction and economic development. The comprehensive model we constructed includes a CO\(_{2}\)-emissions model, an energy balance model, and a socio-economic model. Through a dynamic simulation analysis established by LINGO programming, this study provides the proper carbon intensity that China can achieve under the current situation, lie 1,040 tons/million dollars in 2020 (a 45 % reduction compared with the situation in 2005), while the CO\(_{2}\)-emissions will be 12.51 billion tons, the proportion of non-fossil energy 15 %, and the average annual increase in GDP 9 %. This research provides an effective method to estimate the interaction between economic growth and CO\(_{2}\)-emissions reduction, with alternative energy utilization in the future.

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Xu, F., Xiang, N., Yan, J. et al. Dynamic simulation of China’s carbon emission reduction potential by 2020. Lett Spat Resour Sci 8, 15–27 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12076-014-0120-4

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  • Dynamic simulation
  • CO\(_{2}\)-emissions
  • Carbon intensity
  • China

JEL Classification

  • C61
  • O21
  • Q54