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Energy efficiency to mitigate carbon emissions: strategies of China and the USA


In November 2014, the United States of America (USA) and the People’s Republic of China (China) governments announced their carbon emission reduction targets by 2030. The objective of this paper is to quantitatively project the two countries’ carbon emission reductions that will likely contribute to or facilitate the global climate change mitigation commitment and strategies in Paris in 2015. A top-down approach is used to analyze the relationship between China economic development and energy demand and to identify potentials of energy savings and carbon emission reduction in China. A simple time series approach is used to project carbon emission reduction in the USA. The predictions drawn from the analysis of this paper indicate that both China and the USA should use energy efficiency as first tool to achieve their carbon emission reduction goals.

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    In China, replacing coal by nature gas in power generation is not priority in the next 20 or 30 years. Natural gas resources in China are not as rich as in the USA. Many Chinese cities are still using coal for heating and cooking. It is priority for city consumers not power plants to replace coal by nature gas in the next two or three decades.


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Acknowledgements are due to Mr. Fan Yang of the International Monetary Fund and Mr. Andy DuPont of the US Environmental Protection Agency for their suggestions, comments, and edits on the paper.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


The views, findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this article are entirely those of the authors and should not be attributed in any manner to the organizations where the authors work.

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Correspondence to Ming Yang.

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Yang, M., Yu, X. Energy efficiency to mitigate carbon emissions: strategies of China and the USA. Mitig Adapt Strateg Glob Change 22, 1–14 (2017).

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