Journal of Arid Land

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 513–524 | Cite as

Low-carbon economic development in Central Asia based on LMDI decomposition and comparative decoupling analyses

  • Jiaxiu Li
  • Yaning ChenEmail author
  • Zhi Li
  • Xiaotao Huang


Low-carbon economic development is a strategy that is emerging in response to global climate change. Being the third-largest energy base in the world, Central Asia should adopt rational and efficient energy utilization to achieve the sustainable economic development. In this study, the logarithmic mean Divisia index (LMDI) decomposition method was used to explore the influence factors of CO2 emissions in Central Asia (including Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan) during the period 1992–2014. Moreover, decoupling elasticity and decoupling index based on the LMDI decomposition results were employed to explore the relationship between economic growth and CO2 emissions during the study period. Our results show that the total CO2 emissions decreased during the period 1992–1998, influenced by the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the subsequent financial crisis. After 1998, the total CO2 emissions started to increase slowly along with the economic growth after the market economic reform. Energy-related CO2 emissions increased in Central Asia, mainly driven by economic activity effect and population effect, while energy intensity effect and energy carbon structure effect were the primary factors inhibiting CO2 emissions. The contribution percentages of these four factors (economic activity effect, population effect, energy intensity effect and energy carbon structure effect) to the total CO2 emissions were 11.80%, 39.08%, −14.82% and −4.32%, respectively, during the study period. Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan released great quantities of CO2 with the annual average emissions of 189.69×106, 45.55×106 and 115.38×106 t, respectively. In fact, their economic developments depended on high-carbon energies. The decoupling indices clarified the relationship between CO2 emissions and economic growth, highlighting the occurrence of a “weak decoupling” between these two variables in Central Asia. In conclusion, our results indicate that CO2 emissions are still not completely decoupled from economic growth in Central Asia. Based on these results, we suggest four key policy suggestions in this paper to help Central Asia to reduce CO2 emissions and build a resource-conserving and environment-friendly society.


energy-related CO2 emissions low-carbon economy LMDI decomposition decoupling elasticity decoupling index Central Asia 


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This work was supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA19030204) and the West Light Foundation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (2015-XBQN-17). The authors are very grateful to the anonymous reviewers and editors for their critical review and comments which helped to improve and clarify the paper.


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Copyright information

© Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiaxiu Li
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yaning Chen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Zhi Li
    • 1
  • Xiaotao Huang
    • 4
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and GeographyChinese Academy of SciencesUrumqiChina
  2. 2.College of Resource and Environment SciencesXinjiang UniversityUrumqiChina
  3. 3.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.Key Laboratory of Restoration Ecology for Cold Regions in Qinghai, Northwest Institute of Plateau BiologyChinese Academy of SciencesXiningChina

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