Natural Hazards

, Volume 86, Issue 3, pp 989–1005 | Cite as

Study on the CO2 emissions embodied in the trade of China’s steel industry: based on the input–output model

  • Li Li
  • Yalin Lei
  • Chunyan He
  • Sanmang Wu
  • Jiabin Chen
Original Paper


The impact of trade on the environment and the climate has become a focus of attention. Tending to develop industries with higher added values, developed countries rely on importing high energy consumption goods from developing countries, and however, some CO2 emissions are embodied in the process of import. Currently, the accounting method of the territorial responsibility used to get the international data of greenhouse gas inventories ignores the difference between domestic consumption and export demands. Thus, developing countries bear the responsibility of pollution emissions from the export. The steel industry is an important basic industry of China’s national economy as well as a vital part in the industrial system. With the expansion of trade scale, the impact of the export and import of China’s steel on CO2 emissions is growing. This paper studied the embodied CO2 emissions in the trade of China’s steel from 2005 to 2014, using the input–output model and the trade data of the China’s steel imports and exports. The results indicate that (1) the complete CO2 emissions of China’s steel industry are high. (2) The increase in the export scale makes the embodied CO2 emissions in the trade of China’s steel export increase, and (3) China is a net exporter of CO2 emissions in the steel trade. Especially after 2007, the value of China’s steel exports has been larger than that of China’s steel imports, so China had borne much CO2 emissions responsibility in the trade of China’s steel. Therefore, this paper puts forward that, in the future, the export structure of goods should be optimized into the high-tech products with the high added value, low energy consumption and low carbon emissions, and meanwhile, service industry is promoted to improve technical support to reduce CO2 emissions in the steel industry.


Steel trade Embodied CO2 emissions Input–output model China 



The authors express their sincere thanks for the support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant No. 71173200, the Development and Research Center of China Geological Survey under Grant Nos. 12120114056601 and 12120113093200, National Science and Technology Major Project under Grant No. 2016ZX05016005-003, Key Laboratory of Carrying Capacity Assessment for Resource and Environment, Ministry of Land and Resources (Chinese Academy of Land and Resource Economics, China University of Geosciences Beijing) under Grant No. CCA2016.03.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Li Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yalin Lei
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chunyan He
    • 3
  • Sanmang Wu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jiabin Chen
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Humanities and Economic ManagementChina University of GeosciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Carrying Capacity Assessment for Resource and EnvironmentMinistry of Land and ResourcesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Foreign Language DepartmentChina University of GeosciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.Chinese Academy of Land and Resource EconomicsBeijingChina

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