Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2017, Vol. 72 ›› Issue (2): 292-302.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201702009

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Measurement and spatial transfer of China's provincialPM2.5 emissions embodied in trade

Leying WU1(), Zhangqi ZHONG2, Changxin LIU3, Zheng WANG1,3()   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Geographic Information Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
    2. School of Economics, Zhejiang University of Finance & Economics, Hangzhou 310018, China
    3. Institute of Policy and Management, CAS, Beijing 100080, China
  • Received:2016-04-27 Revised:2016-10-20 Online:2017-02-15 Published:2017-02-15
  • Supported by:
    National Key R&D Program of China, No.2016YFA06 02702


With the environmental problems becoming increasingly serious, the urgency of the air pollution control has attracted the attention of the Chinese government. Due to the unique natural conditions and industrial structure across different provinces, the central government should make endeavors to figure out the problems of emission reduction responsibilities. Actually, the spatial transfer of PM2.5 emissions embodied between the producer and the consumer in the production of consumable items through trade flows has the ability to undermine future climate and environmental policies. Based on the MRIO tables in 2007 and 2010, this article calculated PM2.5 embodied in interprovincial trade, and explored the corresponding spatial transfer characteristics of PM2.5 embodied emissions. The results showed that, PM2.5 emissions embodied in interprovincial trade (EEPT) approximately accounted for 1/3 of the country's total amount, and more importantly, the EEPT decreased significantly since the economic crisis in 2008, though the ratio between the PM2.5 EEPT and the production-based PM2.5 emissions increased to some extent. Moreover, PM2.5 emissions embodied in provincial export trade (EEPE) of the eastern provinces are mostly made up by final consumption, while the EEPE of the central, western and northeastern provinces are mainly composed of the intermediate input production. Therefore, in terms of the controlling on the PM2.5 EEPE, the eastern provinces should pay more attention to the final consumption, and the other provinces should focus on the intermediate input production. From the perspective of the production chain in China, PM2.5 emissions embodied in interprovincial import trade is primarily dominated by the intermediate input, which means that the regional corporation on the environment may be necessary for regional environmental policies. Furthermore, for the central, western and northeastern provinces, the proportion of the EEPT reduced by fixed capital formation is higher than that of the eastern provinces. Therefore, for these industries, the EEPT with the highest emissions such as the construction, the machinery, and other services should receive more attention in the pollution control policy. Considering the balance of the EEPT, the eastern provinces are net importers except for Hebei and Shandong, while the central, western and northeastern provinces are net exporters. In other words, the EEPT is transferred from the central, western and northeastern provinces to the eastern ones, which is stable after the economic crisis. Finally, in terms of policy, the eastern provinces should provide financial and technological aid to the provinces where the EEPT is transferred in regional environmental policy.

Key words: PM2.5, multi-regional Input-output, emissions embodied in trade, China