Natural Hazards

, Volume 91, Issue 2, pp 635–657 | Cite as

The carbon footprints of secondary industry in China: an input–output subsystem analysis

  • Jing-Li Fan
  • Jian-Da Wang
  • Ling-Si Kong
  • Xian Zhang
Original Paper


As the largest CO2 emitter in the world, China is facing great pressure in emission reduction. The secondary industry is the dominated contributor to the total emissions in China, accounting for about 88.34% in 2012. Therefore, in this paper, an input–output subsystem model is applied to explore the carbon footprints of secondary industry in China. The results show that: (1) from the perspective of direct emissions generated by secondary industry, the production and supply of electricity, steam and water, as well as the manufacture and processing of metals are identified as the sectors with highest carbon emissions. From the perspective of indirect emissions, the final demand of construction and manufacture of mechanical equipment cause the highest CO2 emissions compared with that of other sectors. (2) Of the indirect carbon emissions caused by the final demand of secondary industry, the greatest proportion is generated by the consumption of the products of secondary industry itself. Apart from the products of its own sectors, the construction and the manufacture of mechanical equipment are the two largest, accounting for 44 and 34%, respectively. (3) Secondary industry sectors are also the main source of indirect emissions of non-secondary industry sectors, accounting for about 68.28% of the latter. The findings provide a reference for the promotion of emission reduction of secondary industry in China.


Carbon emissions Input–output subsystem Secondary industry China Decomposition 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant (No. 71503249), Beijing Excellent Talent Program (No. 2015000020124G122), the Open Research Project of State Key Laboratory of Coal Resources and Safe Mining (China University of Mining and Technology) (No. SKLCRSM16KFC05). We thank Mr. Mian Zhang and Mr. Fengyu Li for their assistance of language polishing. We also appreciate the editor and two anonymous referees for their helpful suggestions.


  1. Albino V, Kühtz S (2004) Enterprise input–output model for local sustainable development—the case of a tiles manufacturer in Italy. Resour Conserv Recycl 41(3):165–176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alcántara V, Padilla E (2009) Input–output subsystems and pollution: an application to the service sector and CO2 emissions in Spain. Ecol Econ 68:905–914CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alcántara V, Padilla E, Piaggio M (2017) Nitrogen oxide emissions and productive structure in Spain: an input–output perspective. J Clean Prod 141:420–428CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. An J, Xue X (2017) Life-cycle carbon footprint analysis of magnesia products. Resour Conserv Recycl 119:4–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Andreoni V, Galmarini S (2016) Drivers in CO2 emissions variation: a decomposition analysis for 33 world countries. Energy 2016(103):27–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Butnar I, Llop M (2011) Structural decomposition analysis and input–output subsystems: changes in CO2 emissions of Spanish service sectors (2000–2005). Ecol Econ 70:2012–2019CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. CEADs (China Emission Accounts and Datasets) (2017) Emission inventories by sectoral approach.
  8. Chen W, Lei Y (2017) Path analysis of factors in energy-related CO2 emissions from Beijing’s transportation sector. Transp Res D Transp Environ 50:473–487CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chen W, Wu F, Geng W, Yu G (2017) Carbon emissions in China’s industrial sectors. Resour Conserv Recycl 117:264–273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fan JL, Liang QM, Wang Q, Zhang X, Wei YM (2015a) Will export rebate policy be effective for CO2 emissions reduction in China? A CEEPA-based analysis. J Clean Prod 103:120–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fan JL, Yu H, Wei YM (2015b) Residential energy-related carbon emissions in urban and rural China during 1996–2012: from the perspective of five end-use activities. Energy Build 96:201–209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fan JL, Hou YB, Wang Q, Wang C, Wei YM (2016) Exploring the characteristics of production-based and consumption-based carbon emissions of major economies: a multiple-dimension comparison. Appl Energy 184:790–799CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fan JL, Wang Q, Yu SW, Hou YB, Wei YM (2017a) The evolution of CO2 emissions in international trade for major economies: a perspective from the global supply chain. Mitig Adapt Strateg Glob Change 22:1229–1248Google Scholar
  14. Fan J-L, Zhang Y-J, Wang B (2017b) The impact of urbanization on residential energy consumption in China: an aggregated and disaggregated analysis. Renewable Sustain Energy Rev 75:220–233Google Scholar
  15. IEA (2016) World energy outlook 2016Google Scholar
  16. IPCC (2006) 2006 IPCC guidelines for national greenhouse gas inventories. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, BracknellGoogle Scholar
  17. Kagawa S, Inamura H (2001) A structural decomposition of energy consumption based on a hybrid rectangular input–output framework: Japan’s case. Econ Syst Res 13:339–363CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lenzen M (1998) Primary energy and greenhouse gases embodied in Australian final consumption: an input–output analysis. Energy Policy 26:495–506CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Leontief W (1970) Environmental repercussions and the economic structure: an input–output approach. Rev Econ Stat 52:262–271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Li K, Lin B (2016) Impact of energy conservation policies on the green productivity in China’s manufacturing sector: evidence from a three-stage DEA model. Appl Energy 168:351–363CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Li A, Zhang A, Zhou Y, Yao X (2017) Decomposition analysis of factors affecting carbon dioxide emissions across provinces in China. J Clean Prod 141:1428–1444CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Liao H, Cao HS (2013) How does carbon dioxide emission change with the economic development? Statistical experiences from 132 countries. Glob Environ Change 23:1073–1082CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lima F, Nunes ML, Cunha J, Lucena AFP (2016) A cross-country assessment of energy-related CO2 emissions: an extended Kaya Index Decomposition Approach. Energy 115:1361–1374CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lin B, Zhang Z (2016) Carbon emissions in China’s cement industry: a sector and policy analysis. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 58:1387–1394CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Liu LC, Liang QM, Wang Q (2015a) Accounting for China’s regional carbon emissions in 2002 and 2007: production-based versus consumption-based principles. J Clean Prod 103:384–392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Liu Z, Guan D, Wei W, Davis SJ, Ciais P, Bai J, Peng S, Zhang Q, Hubacek K, Marland G (2015b) Reduced carbon emission estimates from fossil fuel combustion and cement production in China. Nature 524:335–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Liu Z, Li L, Zhang YJ (2015c) Investigating the CO2 emission differences among China’s transport sectors and their influencing factors. Nat Hazards 77(2):1323–1343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Llop M, Tol RSJ (2013) Decomposition of sectoral greenhouse gas emissions: a subsystem input–output model for the Republic of Ireland. J Environ Plan Manag 56:1316–1331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lu Q, Yang H, Huang X, Chuai X, Wu C (2015) Multi-sectoral decomposition in decoupling industrial growth from carbon emissions in the developed Jiangsu Province, China. Energy 82:414–425CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mäenpää I, Siikavirta H (2007) Greenhouse gases embodied in the international trade and final consumption of Finland: an input–output analysis. Energy Policy 35:128–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Meng B, Xue J, Feng K, Guan D, Fu X (2013) China’s inter-regional spillover of carbon emissions and domestic supply chains. Energy Policy 61:1305–1321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mi ZF, Wei YM, He CQ, Li HN, Yuan XC, Liao H (2014) Regional efforts to mitigate climate change in china: a multi-criteria assessment approach. Mitig Adapt Strat Glob Change 22(1):1–22Google Scholar
  33. Mi ZF, Pan SY, Yu H, Wei YM (2015) Potential impacts of industrial structure on energy consumption and CO2 emission: a case study of beijing. J Clean Prod 103:455–462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Mi ZF, Wei YM, Wang B, Meng J, Liu Z, Shan Y et al (2017a) Socioeconomic impact assessment of China’s CO2, emissions peak prior to 2030. J Clean Prod 142:2227–2236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mi ZF, Meng J, Guan D, Shan Y, Liu Z, Wang Y, et al (2017b) Pattern changes in determinants of chinese emissions. Environ Res Lett 12 (in press) Google Scholar
  36. Miller RE, Blair PD (2009) Input–output analysis: foundations and extensions, 2nd edn. Cambridge University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. NBS (National Bureau of Statistics) (2013) China energy statistical yearbook. China Statistics Press, Beijing (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  38. NBS (National Bureau of Statistics) (2015) China energy statistical yearbook. China Statistics Press, Beijing (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  39. NBS (National Bureau of Statistics) (2016a) China energy statistical yearbook. China Statistics Press, Beijing (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  40. NBS (National Bureau of Statistics) (2016b) China statistical yearbook. China Statistics Press, Beijing (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  41. NBS (National Bureau of Statistics) (2017) The industrial classification standard of national economy.
  42. Piaggio M, Alcántara V, Padilla E (2015) The materiality of the immaterial : service sectors and CO2, emissions in Uruguay. Ecol Econ 110:1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Sraffa P (1960) Production of commodities by means of commodities. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  44. Su B, Ang BW (2011) Multi-region input–output analysis of CO2 emissions embodied in trade: the feedback effects. Ecol Econ 71:42–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Su B, Ang BW (2016) Multi-region comparisons of emission performance: the structural decomposition analysis approach. Ecol Ind 67:78–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. The State Council of the People’s Republic of China. 2016-11-04. Thirteenth five-year plan to control greenhouse gas emissions.
  47. Wang Z, Liu W, Yin J (2015) Driving forces of indirect carbon emissions from household consumption in china: an input–output decomposition analysis. Nat Hazards 75(2):257–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Wang J, Zhao T, Wang Y (2016) How to achieve the 2020 and 2030 emissions targets of China: evidence from high, mid and low energy-consumption industrial sub-sectors. Atmos Environ 145:280–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Wang Y, Xie T, Yang S (2017) Carbon emission and its decoupling research of transportation in Jiangsu Province. J Clean Prod 142:907–914CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Xu R, Lin B (2017) Why are there large regional differences in CO2 emissions? Evidence from China’s manufacturing industry. J Clean Prod 140:1330–1343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Xu X, Yang G, Tan Y, Zhuang Q, Tang X, Zhao K et al (2017) Factors influencing industrial carbon emissions and strategies for carbon mitigation in the Yangtze River Delta of China. J Clean Prod 142:3607–3616CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Xue X (1998) Calculation and international comparison of carbon dioxide emission from energy activities in China. Environ Protection. 4:27–28 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  53. Yao L, Liu J, Zhou T, Wang R (2016) An analysis of the driving forces behind pollutant emission reduction in Chinese industry. J Clean Prod 112:1395–1400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Yeh JC, Liao CH (2016) Impact of population and economic growth on carbon emissions in Taiwan using an analytic tool STIRPAT. Sustain Environ Res 27:41–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Yuan R, Zhao T (2016) Changes in CO2 emissions from China’s energy-intensive industries: a subsystem input–output decomposition analysis. J Clean Prod 117:98–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Yuan R, Zhao T, Xu J (2017) A subsystem input–output decomposition analysis of CO2 emissions in the service sectors: a case study of Beijing, China. Environ Dev Sustain 19(6):2181–2198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Zhang YJ, Hao JF (2016) The evaluation of environmental capacity: evidence in Hunan province of China. Ecol Ind 60:514–523CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Zhang J, Xie Y, Luan B, Chen X (2015) Urban macro-level impact factors on Direct CO2 Emissions of urban residents in China. Energy Build 107:131–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Zhang L, He C, Yang A, Yang Q, Han J (2018) Modeling and implication of coal physical input–output table in China—based on clean coal concept. Resour Conserv Recycl 129:355–365Google Scholar
  60. Zhao Y, Wang S, Zhang Z, Liu Y, Ahmad A (2016) Driving factors of carbon emissions embodied in China–US trade: a structural decomposition analysis. J Clean Prod 131:678–689CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Zhao X, Zhang X, Li N, Shao S, Geng Y (2017) Decoupling economic growth from carbon dioxide emissions in China: a sectoral factor decomposition analysis. J Clean Prod 142:3500–3516CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jing-Li Fan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jian-Da Wang
    • 2
  • Ling-Si Kong
    • 2
  • Xian Zhang
    • 3
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Coal Resources and Safe Mining (China University of Mining and Technology)BeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Resources and Safety EngineeringChina University of Mining and Technology (Beijing)BeijingChina
  3. 3.The Administrative Centre for China’s Agenda 21Ministry of Science and TechnologyBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations