Natural Hazards

, Volume 86, Issue 3, pp 1333–1345 | Cite as

China’s energy demand and carbon dioxide emissions: do carbon emission reduction paths matter?

Original Paper


To investigate the impact of carbon emission reduction paths on energy demand and CO2 emissions in China, in this study, quantitative carbon emission reduction paths in the period 2014–2020 are established by decomposing the target for emissions reduction. An optimization model of energy demand, into which reduction paths are incorporated, is then constructed from a goal-oriented perspective. The results suggest that energy consumption varies under different emission reduction paths. Coal demand is found to be much more sensitive to the choice of emission reduction path than other forms of energy; in particular, it responds strongly to the decreasing reduction path. We conclude that the decreasing reduction path is a better means than the increasing reduction path of achieving China’s emission reduction target for 2020 with the least amount of energy and the least amount of CO2 emissions.


Energy demand Carbon dioxide emissions Emission reduction path 



This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 71271074, 71573069, 71373099). The authors would like to thank the comments and suggestions from the reviewers.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaofei Han
    • 1
  • Jianling Jiao
    • 1
  • Lancui Liu
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Lanlan Li
    • 1
  1. 1.School of ManagementHefei University of TechnologyHefeiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Business SchoolBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Center for Climate and Environmental Policy, Chinese Academy of Environmental PlanningMinistry of Environmental Protection of the People’s Republic of ChinaBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Harvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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