China’s cement demand and CO2 emissions toward 2030: from the perspective of socioeconomic, technology and population

  • Junxiao Wei
  • Kuang Cen
  • Yuanbo Geng
Research Article


China is the largest cement producer and carbon dioxide (CO2) emitter in the world. The country has attracted too much attention in calculating and comparing its CO2 emissions. However, as the second largest CO2 emitter after the fire power industry, China’s long-term cement demand and cement-related CO2 emission projections were not fully studied. The Chinese government, however, committed that by 2020 and 2030, China’s per capita GDP of CO2 emissions would be lower than that in 2005 by 40–45% and 60–65%, respectively. In this paper, China’s cement demand in 2030 was projected based on the population size, urbanization rate, fixed assets investment, and per capita GDP. Furthermore, decoupling study in China’s cement industry was also involved based on the GDP and CO2 emissions during 2001–2015. We also used the diffusion rate of 12 types of CO2 reduction measures and two changed scenarios of clinker-to-cement ratio, to project the cement CO2 emission factors toward 2030 after determining the accounting scope. Meanwhile, the CO2 emissions of China’s cement industry through 2030 were projected naturally. The results showed that China’s cement output in 2030 will be approximately 2000, 1650, and 937 Mt. based on the fixed assets investment, urbanization rate, and per capita GDP respectively. The projected two scenarios cement CO2 emission factors were resp. 407.83 and 390.02 kg CO2/t of cement which were 42.6 and 45.1% lower than that in 2005. The cement CO2 emissions were projected to be in the range of 366 to 818 Mt. in 2030. Additionally, China’s total cement output value has been decoupling from cement CO2 emissions from 2012, which is mainly attributed to eliminating backward capacity, reducing excess capacity or the declining cement output. And decoupling economic from China’s cement CO2 emissions may change to be strong or weak decoupling in the near future. As cement production is one of the factors effecting cement CO2 emissions, the most important measure for controlling cement CO2 emissions is a reasonable capacity utilization rate. It is therefore important to control the growth of cement CO2 emissions by regulating the capacity utilization rate within a reasonable range. Eliminating backward capacity, removing excess capacity, controlling new capacity, staggered production, and the “going global” of cement equipment can have great impacts in controlling the total amount of cement output and CO2 emissions.


Cement CO2 emission Per capita GDP Population size Urbanization rate Fixed assets investment Capacity utilization rate 



China Cement Almanac


Cumulative cement consumption per capita


Cement conception per capita


Carbon capture and storage


Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center


Chinese yuan


Carbon dioxide


Fixed assets investment


Gross domestic product


Per capita GDP


Greenhouse gases


International Energy Agency


Logistic prediction model


National Bureau of Statistics of China


Nitrogen oxide


Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development


Sulfur dioxide


Total cement output value


Urbanization rate


U.S. Geological Survey


World Business Council for Sustainable Development



We thank the National Library of China very much for data supporting, and we also thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments.

Author contributions

J.X.W. and K.C. contributed equally to this work. Y.B.G. provided suggestions for revision.


This work was supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program—Climate Chang: Carbon Budget and Related Issues of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. XDA05010400).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Earth Sciences and ResourcesChina University of Geosciences (Beijing)BeijingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Geographic Science and Natural Resource ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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