Publications

Publications

How modifications of China's energy data affect carbon mitigation targets
Energy Policy
| February 24, 2018
Frequent modifications to energy statistics have led to considerable uncertainty in China's ability to achieve its carbon mitigation targets. Here, we quantitatively measure the impact of energy data revisions on China's ability to achieve its mitigation targets. Our results indicate the following effects of data revisions: 1. Mitigation challenges have increased by 5%, and the achievement of national mitigation targets (as well as international pledges) might be postponed by two years. 2. Greater than expected carbon space or emission quota (from 22.94 to 31.31 Gt) will be obtained from 2015 to 2035.


Carbon emission imbalances and the structural paths of Chinese regions
Applied Energy
| February 20, 2018
As the Chinese regions become more and more connected to each other and foreign countries, this study aims to address carbon imbalance and outsourcing issues in China. Using a production-based carbon emission inventory and a China-global multi-regional input-output model, this study estimates the consumption-based carbon emissions in 30 Chinese regions in 2007 and 2010. Our results reveal that the carbon imbalances of most Chinese provinces and cities have decreased between 2007 and 2010, but disparities in the regional per capita carbon footprint have widened. 


Reconciling discrepancies in the source characterization of VOCs
Science of The Total Environment
| February 20, 2018
By utilizing a highly resolved speciated regional EI and a region-wide gridded volatile organic compounds (VOCs) speciation measurement campaign, we elucidated underlying factors for discrepancies between EI and RM and proposed ways for their interpretations with the aim to achieve a scientifically plausible source identification. Results showed that numbers of species, temporal and spatial resolutions used for comparison, photochemical loss of reactive species, potential missing sources in EI and tracers used in RM were important factors contributed to the discrepancies.


Co-mitigation of CO2 and PM2.5 pollution
Journal of Cleaner Production
| February 16, 2018
The simultaneous reduction of CO2 emissions and PM2.5 pollution while minimizing the total mitigation costs remains a crucial issue that must be resolved. Using a multi-objective analysis, we compared potential technology combinations based on various policy preferences and targets. Our results showed that policies designed to mitigate PM2.5 pollution have substantial co-benefits for CO2 emissions reductions.


GHGs from biomass burning in China from 2000 to 2012
Journal of Cleaner Production
| February 03, 2018
Greenhouse gases emissions from biomass burning have been given a little attention, especially the spatiotemporal features of biomass burning sources and greenhouse gases emissions have not been comprehensively uncovered. This research undertook IPCC bottom-up inventory guideline to estimate Chinese greenhouse gases emissions from biomass burning and applied geographical information system to reveal biomass burning emissions spatiotemporal features. The purposes were to quantify greenhouse gases emissions from various biomass burning sources in China.


China CO2 emission accounts 1997–2015
Scientific Data
| January 16, 2018
China is the world’s top energy consumer and CO2 emitter, accounting for 30% of global emissions. Compiling an accurate accounting of China’s CO2 emissions is the first step in implementing reduction policies. However, no annual, officially published emissions data exist for China. The current emissions estimated by academic institutes and scholars exhibit great discrepancies. The gap between the different emissions estimates is approximately equal to the total emissions of the Russian Federation (the 4th highest emitter globally) in 2011. 


Global super-polluting power plant units
Nature Sustainability | January 08, 2018
There are more than 30,000 biomass- and fossil-fuel-burning power plants now operating worldwide, reflecting a tremendously diverse infrastructure, which ranges in capacity from less than a megawatt to more than a gigawatt. In 2010, 68.7% of electricity generated globally came from these power plants, compared with 64.2% in 1990. Although the electricity generated by this infrastructure is vital to economic activity worldwide, it also produces more CO2 and air pollutant emissions than infrastructure from any other industrial sector.


Local strategies for China's carbon mitigation
Journal of Cleaner Production | January 08, 2018
This paper provides a systematic analysis that identifies the driving forces of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of 286 Chinese prefecture-level cities in 2012. The regression analysis confirms the economic scale and structure effects on cities' CO2 emissions in China. If China's annual economic growth continues at the rate of 7%, CO2 emissions will increase by about 6% annually. In addition, climate conditions, urbanization and public investment in R&D are identified as important driving forces to increase the CO2 emissions of Chinese cities.


Chinese CO2 emission flows have reversed
Nature Communication | November 23, 2017
we show that emission flow patterns have changed greatly in both domestic and foreign trade since the financial crisis. Some economically less developed regions, such as Southwest China, have shifted from being a net emission exporter to being a net emission importer. In terms of foreign trade, emissions embodied in China’s exports declined from 2007 to 2012 mainly due to changes in production structure and efficiency gains, , while developing countries became the major destination of China’s export emissions.


Assessment of the economic impacts of heat waves 
Journal of Cleaner Production
| October 09, 2017
Extreme heat can not only induce health outcomes in terms of excess mortality and morbidity (hospital admissions) but can also cause productivity losses for self-paced indoor workers and capacity losses for outdoor workers due to occupational safety requirements. All of these effects can be translated into productive working time losses, thus creating a need to investigate the macroeconomic implications of heat waves on production supply chains. Indeed, industrial interdependencies are important for capturing the cascading effects of initial changes in factor inputs.


Flood footprint of the 2007 floods in the UK
Journal of Cleaner Production | September 09, 2017
International headlines over the last few years have been dominated by extreme weather events, and floods have been amongst the most frequent and devastating. These disasters represent high costs and functional disruptions to societies and economies. The consequent breakdown of the economic equilibrium exacerbates the losses of the initial physical damages and generates indirect costs that largely amplify the burden of the total damage. Neglecting indirect damages results in misleading results regarding the real dimensions of the costs and prevents accurate decision-making.


Energy and emission in Tibet and cites
Earth Future | August 09, 2017
Tibet Autonomous Region has historically been excluded from China's reported energy statistics, including those regarding CO2 emissions. In this paper, we estimate Tibet's energy consumption using limited online documents, and we calculate the 2014 energy-related and process-related COemissions of Tibet and its seven prefecture-level administrative divisions for the first time. 


Global emission growth after international crisis 
Energy Policy
 | August 04, 2017

In this paper, we decompose the driving forces of global CO2 emissions for the post-crisis era 2008–2011 from both production-based and consumption-based aspects. The results suggest that non-OECD economies have become the major drivers for the rapid global growth of CO2 emissions after the crisis. The increasing consumption and investment of non-OECD economies,  have largely contributed to global growth of CO2 emissions after 2009.


Consumption based water resources accounts
Journal of Cleaner Production | June 19, 2017
This work develops a method of multi-scale input-output analysis for the embodied water accounting of an economy. This method can distinguish between the different virtual water contents of imported and local products and is therefore capable of estimating the virtual water that is embodied in trade. As a simplified model, this method substantially minimizes the data requirements. With the support of averaged Eora global embodied water intensity databases for the world and Chinese economies, a three-scale embodied water input-output analysis of the Beijing economy in 2007 has been conducted. 


City level emission accounts: method and application
Journal of Cleaner Production
 | June 14, 2017

Cities contribute 85% of the total CO2 emissions in China and thus are considered as the key areas for implementing policies designed for climate change adaption and CO2 emission mitigation. However, the emission inventory construction of Chinese cities has not been well researched, mainly owing to the lack of systematic statistics and poor data quality. Focusing on this research gap, we developed a set of methods for constructing CO2 emissions inventories for Chinese cities based on energy balance table.  


Demand-driven air pollution in Guangdong
Applied Energy | July 11, 2017
Guangdong is one of many fast-developing regions in China that are confronting the challenges of air pollution mitigation and sustainable economic development. In this study, we used environmentally extended input-output analysis with well-established production-based emission inventories to develop a consumption-based emission inventory for seven pollutants in the years 2007 and 2012. 


Trade affects location of air pollution deaths
Nature | March 30, 2017
In a ground-breaking interdisciplinary analysis, we quantify the global links among consumption of goods and services, production of air pollution, atmospheric transport of that pollution, and human mortality due to the pollution. We find that roughly a quarter of air pollution deaths are related to goods produced in one region for consumption in another.


Pattern changes in determinants of Chinese emissions
Environmental Research Letters | March 29, 2017
Chinese economy has been recovering slowly from the global financial crisis, but it cannot achieve the same rapid development of the pre-recession period. Instead, the country has entered a new phase of economic development – a "new normal". We use a structural decomposition analysis (SDA) and environmental input-output analysis (IOA) to estimate the determinants of China's carbon emission changes during 2005-2012.  


Performance of China’s Emission-Trading Scheme
Engineering | February 28, 2017
China recently announced the launch of a nation-wide emission-trading scheme (ETS) starting in 2017 in order to help deliver its emission peak by 2030. A number of climate policies in China are ongoing, and require a full performance review, effective coordination, and appropriate implementation of planning and monitoring measures along with any newly added mechanisms.


Consumption-based black carbon of China's cities
Journal of Cleaner Production | February 27, 2017
We calculate the production-based and consumption-based emissions in 2012 in four Chinese megacities: Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing. The results show that capital formation is the largest contributor, accounting for 37%–69% of consumption-based emissions. Approximately 44% of BC emissions related to goods consumed in Chongqing and more than 60% for Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin occur outside of the city boundary.


Variations of China's emission estimates
Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry | January 25, 2017
The accuracy of China’s energy statistics is of great concern because it contributes greatly to the uncertainties in estimates of global emissions. This study attempts to improve the understanding of uncertainties in China’s energy statistics and evaluate their impacts on China’s emissions during the period of 1990–2013. The discrepancies between the national and provincial energy statistics were reduced after the three economic censuses conducted during this period, and converging uncertainties were found in 2013.


Multiple disasters management: Lessons from the Fukushima triple events
Economic Analysis and Policy | January 07, 2016
It has been five and a half years since the Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE) in March 2011. This study summarize management and policy lessons from the GEJE. The recovery efforts that followed the triple disasters: the earthquake, tsunami and meltdown of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant are in progress. The experience of the GEJE and tsunami prompted the building of embankments throughout the Pacific coastal side of the Tohoku region. The Cabinet’s Reconstruction Headquarters used at least 19 trillion yen ($158 billion) for intensive reconstruction over five years through 2015.


Unequal household carbon footprints in China
Nature Climate Change | December 19, 2016
Households’ carbon footprints are unequally distributed among the rich and poor due to differences in the scale and patterns of consumption. We present distributional focused carbon footprints for Chinese households and use a carbon-footprint-Gini coefficient to quantify inequalities. We find that in 2012 the urban very rich, comprising 5% of population, induced 19% of the total carbon footprint from household consumption in China, with 6.4 tCO2/cap. 


Income-Based Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Nations
Environmental Science and Technology | December 09, 2016
Income-based accounting method reveals new GHG emission profiles for nations and sectors. The rapid development of mining industries drives income-based GHG emissions of resource-exporting nations (e.g., Australia, Canada, and Russia) during 1995–2009. Moreover, the rapid development of sectors producing basic materials and providing financial intermediation services drives income-based GHG emissions of developing nations. 

Global carbon uptake by cement carbonation
Nature Geoscience
 | November 21, 2016

Calcination of carbonate rocks during the manufacture of cement produced 5% of global CO2emissions from all industrial process and fossil-fuel combustion in 2013. Here, we use new and existing data on cement materials during cement service life, demolition, and secondary use of concrete waste to estimate regional and global COuptake between 1930 and 2013 using an analytical model describing carbonation chemistry.


Carbon emissions of Beijing in 2012
Environmental Research Letters | November 17, 2016
Income-based accounting method reveals new GHG emission profiles for nations and sectors. The rapid development of mining industries drives income-based GHG emissions of resource-exporting nations (e.g., Australia, Canada, and Russia) during 1995–2009. Moreover, the rapid development of sectors producing basic materials and providing financial intermediation services drives income-based GHG emissions of developing nations. 


Take responsibility for electronic-waste disposal
Nature
| August 03, 2016
The world is producing ever more electrical and electronic waste. The quantity of dumped computers, telephones, televisions and appliances doubled between 2009 and 2014, to 42 million tonnes per year globally. China processed about 70% of the world’s e-waste in 2012; the rest goes to India and other countries in eastern Asia and Africa, including Nigeria. Non-toxic components — such as iron, steel, copper and gold — are valuable, so are more frequently recycled than toxic ones.


Inter-regional trade flows in China
Journal of Geographical Sciences
| August 05, 2015
China has huge differences among its regions in terms of socio-economic development, industrial structure, natural resource endowments, and technological advancement. These differences have created complicated linkages between regions in China. In this study, building upon gravity model and location quotient techniques, we develop a sector-specific model to estimate inter-provincial trade flows, which is the base for making a multi-regional input-output table.


Consumption-based emission accounting for Chinese cities
Applied Energy 
| June 23, 2016
We employ an input-output model to calculate consumption-based CO2 emissions for thirteen Chinese cities and find substantial differences between production- and consumption-based accounting in terms of both overall and per capita carbon emissions. Urban consumption not only leads to carbon emissions within a city’s own boundaries but also induces emissions in other regions via interregional trade.


Electrical vehicles and emissions mitigation in China
Applied Energy
| June 11, 2016
Replacement of gasoline cars with EVs causes greater impacts on total gasoline production than on total electricity generation. The gasoline vehicle replacement with EVs, powered by 80% coal, has no effect on overall emissions. The CO2 emissions reduction in the petroleum sector is offset by the increase in CO2 emissions in the electricity sector, leaving the national CO2 emissions unchanged.


Socioeconomic Drivers of GHGs in the US
Environmental Science & Technology
 | June 08, 2016
This study investigates GHG emissions of sectors in the U.S. from production-based (direct emissions), consumption-based (upstream emissions driven by final consumption of products), and income-based (downstream emissions enabled by primary inputs of sectors) viewpoints. We also quantify relative contributions of socioeconomic factors to the US’s GHG emission changes during 1995–2009 from both the consumption and supply sides.


Driving forces of Chinese primary air pollution emissions
Journal of Cleaner Production
| May 11, 2016
This study provides an interdisciplinary study to investigate the key contributors driving air pollution emissions changes in China from 1997 to 2012, by applying the Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index method. The decomposition results are presented in both multiplicative and additive approaches to show the relative and absolute contribution of each factor in affecting emission changes. Changes in total particulate matter emissions are attributed to variations in primary particle, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emissions.


Environment-economy tradeoff for Beijing regions
Applied Energy
 | April 19, 2016
The trade of goods among regions or nations associated with large environmental consequences. Yet balancing economic gains and environmental consequences induced by trade is still hindered by a lack of quantification of these two factors, especially for the environmental problems those are more locally oriented, such as the atmospheric pollution. Our results show that exports contributed 55–62% of BTH’s production emissions and 54% of its total value added.


New provincial CO2 emission inventories in China
Applied Energy
 | April 19, 2016
The study presents the changing emission-socioeconomic features of each provinces as well. The results indicate that Chinese provincial aggregated CO2 emissions calculated by the apparent energy consumption and updated emissions factors are coincident with the national emissions estimated by the same approach, which are 12.69% smaller than the one calculated by the traditional approach and IPCC default emission factors.


Revisiting global net emission transfers
Journal of Industrial Ecology
| March 11, 2016
processing exports in China involves relatively lower CO2 emissions than other production types for the same output levels. Therefore, if processing exports are not appropriately distinguished, net CO2 emission exports from China to other regions will be distorted; the relative bias occasionally reaches 15%. Net emission exports from regions other than China are also distorted, particularly for regions that use considerable Chinese processing exports.


Interprovincial Reliance for Improving Air Quality in China
Environmental Science & Technology
| March 07, 2016
The trade of goods among regions or nations associated with large environmental consequences. Yet balancing economic gains and environmental consequences induced by trade is still hindered by a lack of quantification of these two factors, especially for the environmental problems those are more locally oriented, such as the atmospheric pollution. Our results show that exports contributed 55–62% of BTH’s production emissions and 54% of its total value added.


Techno-economic drivers of CO2 emission changes
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
| December 05, 2015
This paper extends the previous logarithmic mean Divisia index (LMDI) decomposition model by introducing three novel factors (R&D intensity, investment intensity, and R&D efficiency). The extended model not only considers the conventional drivers of energy-related industrial CO2 emissions, but also reflects the microeconomic effects of investment and R&D behaviors on emissions.


Air pollution and human health at Pearl River Delta
Environmental Research Letters
| October 08, 2015
Following a series of extreme air pollution events, the Chinese government released the Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan in 2013 (China's State Council 2013). The Action Plan sets clear goals for key regions (i.e. cities above the prefecture level, Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Province, the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta) and establishes near-term control efforts for the next five years. However, the extent to which the Action Plan can direct local governments' activities on air pollution control remains unknown. 


Intercomparison of global MRIO databases
Economic Systems Research
| March 01, 2016
Global multiregional input–output (MRIO) tables constitute detailed accounts of the economic activity worldwide. Global trade models based on MRIO tables are being used to calculate important economic and environmental indicators such as value added in trade or the carbon footprint of nations. Such applications are highly relevant in international trade and climate policy negotiations, and consequently MRIO model results are being scrutinized for their accuracy and reproducibility.


China's export related emissions, and the responsibility issue
Energy Economics | August 28, 2015
China's CO2 emissions and those embodied in its exports have been extensively studied. One often neglected aspect is the prevalence of foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) in China's exports, for which a substantial portion of benefits return to the investing countries. In this paper, we revisit China's export-related CO2 emission responsibilities by viewing them from a “new”, gross national income perspective.


Targeted opportunities to address the climate–trade dilemma in China
Nature Climate Change 
| September 28, 2015
International trade has become the fastest growing driver of global carbon emissions, with large quantities of emissions embodied in exports from emerging economies. International trade with emerging economies poses a dilemma for climate and trade policy: to the extent emerging markets have comparative advantages in manufacturing, such trade is economically efficient and desirable.



Reduced emission estimates in China
Nature | August 19, 2015
Estimates of Chinese emissions remain subject to large uncertainty; inventories of China’s total fossil fuel carbon emissions in 2008 differ by 0.3 gigatonnes of carbon, or 15 per cent. The primary sources of this uncertainty are conflicting estimates of energy consumption and emission factors. Here we re-evaluate China’s carbon emissions using updated and harmonized energy consumption and clinker production data and two new and comprehensive sets of measured emission factors for Chinese coal.


China’s rising hydropower demand challenges water sector
Scientific Reports
| July 09, 2015
Demand for hydropower is increasing, yet the water footprints (WFs) of reservoirs and hydropower, and their contributions to water scarcity, are poorly understood. Here, we calculate reservoir WFs (freshwater that evaporates from reservoirs) and hydropower WFs (the WF of hydroelectricity) in China based on data from 875 representative reservoirs (209 with power plants).


Steps to China’s carbon peak
Nature | June 17, 2015
In 2013, China released one-quarter of the global total of carbon dioxide for the year, and 1.5 times that released by the United States. It is the world's leading emitter of the gas. Without mitigation, China's CO2 emissions will rise by more than 50% in the next 15 years. Last November, in a joint announcement with the United States, China pledged that its CO2 emissions will peak by 2030. Existing policies are insufficient to make that happen.


China's toxic informal e-waste recycling
Journal of Cleaner Production
| June 01, 2015
Electronic waste or e-waste has been an increasingly severe problem over the last decade, and is the fastest growing waste stream in the world. China's inexpensive labour and manufacturing abilities have already made it “the world's factory” and for e-waste recycling it is no exception. Informal workers do the majority of e-waste collection and recycling in cities throughout China.


China's virtual air pollution transport
Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry | May 19, 2015
Substantial anthropogenic emissions from China have resulted in serious air pollution, and this has generated considerable academic and public concern. The physical transport of air pollutants in the atmosphere has been extensively investigated; however, understanding the mechanisms how the pollutant was transferred through economic and trade activities remains a challenge. For the first time, we quantified and tracked China's air pollutant emission flows embodied in interprovincial trade, using a multiregional input–output model framework.


Revealing the hidden health costs embodied in Chinese exports
Environmental Science & Technology | March 09, 2015
China emits a considerable amount of air pollutants when producing goods for export. Previous efforts have emphasized the magnitude of export-related emissions; however, their health consequences on the Chinese population have not been quantified. Here, we present an interdisciplinary study to estimate the health impact of export-related air pollution.


Four system boundaries for carbon accounts
Ecological Modelling | February 27, 2015
Knowing the carbon emission baseline of a region is a precondition for any mitigation effort, but the baselines are highly dependent on the system boundaries for which they are calculated. On the basis of sectoral energy statistics and a nested provincial and global multi-regional input–output model, we calculate and compare four different system boundaries for China's 30 provinces and major cities. 


Physical and virtual water transfers in China
PNAS | January 12, 2015
Water can be redistributed through, in physical terms, water transfer projects and virtually, embodied water for the production of traded products. Here, we explore whether such water redistributions can help mitigate water stress in China. This study, for the first time to our knowledge, both compiles a full inventory for physical water transfers at a provincial level and maps virtual water flows between Chinese provinces in 2007 and 2030.


Determinants of Stagnating Carbon Intensity in China
Nature Climate Change | October 04, 2014
China committed itself to reduce the carbon intensity of its economy (the amount of CO2 emitted per unit of GDP) by 40–45% during 2005–2020. Yet, between 2002 and 2009, China experienced a 3% increase in carbon intensity, though trends differed greatly among its 30 provinces. Decomposition analysis shows that sectoral efficiency gains in nearly all provinces were offset by movement towards a more carbon-intensive economic structure.


Lifting China’s Water Spell
Environmental Science & Technology | September 16, 2014
China is a country with significant but unevenly distributed water resources. The water stressed North stays in contrast to the water abundant and polluted South defining China’s current water environment. In this paper we use the latest available data sets and adopt structural decomposition analysis for the years 1992 to 2007 to investigate the driving forces behind the emerging water crisis in China.


A Hybrid-Unit Energy Input-Output Model
Journal of Industrial Ecology
| April 02, 2014
We develop a hybrid-unit energy input-output (I/O) model with a disaggregated electricity sector for China. The model replaces primary energy rows in monetary value, namely, coal, gas, crude oil, and renewable energy, with physical flow units in order to overcome errors associated with the proportionality assumption in environmental I/O analysis models. Model development and data use are explained and compared with other approaches in the field of environmental life cycle assessment.


The socioeconomic drivers of China's primary PM2.5
Environmental Research Letters
| February 19, 2014
We present an interdisciplinary study to measure the magnitudes of socioeconomic factors in driving primary PM2.5 emission changes in China between 1997–2010, by using a regional emission inventory as input into an environmentally extended input–output framework and applying structural decomposition analysis.


China’s international trade and air pollution in the United States
PNAS 
| February 04, 2014
International trade affects global air pollution and transport by redistributing emissions related to production of goods and services and by potentially altering the total amount of global emissions. Here we analyze the trade influences by combining an economic-emission analysis on China’s bilateral trade and atmospheric chemical transport modeling.

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