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