Measuring the Energy Saving and CO2 Emissions Reduction Potential Under China’s Belt and Road Initiative

  • Yue-Jun ZhangEmail author
  • Yan-Lin Jin
  • Bo Shen


Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) countries are major energy producers and consumers in the world, and they have enormous potential for energy cooperation, energy saving, and CO2 emissions reduction due to their various resource endowments. However, little quantitative research has been conducted under the BRI in the same framework. Therefore, by developing a data envelopment analysis optimisation model combined with the window analysis method, this paper investigates the energy performance of BRI countries for the period from 1995 to 2015, and evaluate the potential of energy saving and CO2 emissions reduction for each BRI country. The results show that, first, the average energy performance of 56 BRI countries is about 0.69, with evident difference across regions and countries. Specifically, in Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe and Central Asia, energy performance is relatively lower, and their averages are 0.59 and 0.60, respectively; in particular, Ukraine has the lowest energy performance among the 56 BRI countries (0.24); while the energy performance in Middle East and North Africa and South Asia appears relatively higher (0.80 and 0.89, respectively). Second, these 56 BRI countries have great energy saving potential, about 9.95 billion metric tonnes of oil equivalent from 1995 to 2015. Among them, Europe and Central Asia, East Asia and Pacific, and Middle East and North Africa make relatively larger contribution. Finally, these 56 BRI countries may produce potential CO2 emissions reduction of 50.87 billion metric tonnes during the study period, and Europe and Central Asia and East Asia and Pacific contribute the most (45.18% and 25.53%, respectively).


Belt and Road Initiative Energy saving CO2 emissions reduction Data envelopment analysis 



We are grateful to the financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 71273028, 71322103, 71774051), National Program for Support of Top-notch Young Professionals (No. W02070325), Changjiang Scholars Program of the Ministry of Education of China (No. Q2016154), Hunan Youth Talent Program and Hunan Province Graduate Student Research and Innovation Project (No. CX2017B131). We also would like to thank the kind help of Prof. Ling-Yun He with Jinan University, China, and appreciate the seminar participants at Center for Resource and Environmental Management of Hunan University for their insightful discussions.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Business SchoolHunan UniversityChangshaChina
  2. 2.Center for Resource and Environmental ManagementHunan UniversityChangshaChina
  3. 3.Energy Analysis and Environmental Impacts DivisionLawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryBerkeleyUSA

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