Climate and Environmental Change

CO2 emissions and their bearing on China's economic development: the long view

  • 1. Inst. of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;

    2. Department of Geography, The University of Manitoba, R3T 2N2, Winnipeg, Canada

Received date: 2004-08-11

  Revised date: 2004-11-15

  Online published: 2005-03-25

Supported by

National Basic Research Priorities Programme of China, No.2002CB412507; Research Program of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, No.973-2002CB412507


Greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions in China have aroused much interest, and not least in recent evidence of their reduction. Our intent is to place that reduction in a larger context, that of the process of industrialization. A lengthy time perspective is combined with a cross-sectional approach-China plus five other countries-and addressed through two general models. The findings are salutary. First, they suggest that a diversified economic structure is consistent with diminished intensity in energy use. Secondly, and the obverse of the first, they imply that a diversified energy structure promotes reductions in CO2 emissions. Finally, one is led inevitably to the conclusion that, together, the findings point to a path for countries to transform their economies while at the same time undertaking to drastically moderate their energy use, switching from a pattern of heavy carbon emissions to one in which lighter carbon emissions prevail. The implications of such findings for environmental management are enormous.

Cite this article

ZHANG Lei, Daniel TODD, XIE Hui, CHEN Wenyan,WU Yingmei, JIANG Wei . CO2 emissions and their bearing on China's economic development: the long view[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2005 , 15(1) : 61 -70 . DOI: 10.1360/gs050108


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