Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2022, Vol. 77 ›› Issue (9): 2189-2201.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202209004

• Ecological Environment and Carbon Emissions • Previous Articles     Next Articles

China's carbon neutrality path prediction under the shared social economic paths

LIU Zemiao1(), HUANG Xianjin1,2(), LU Xuehe3, LI Shengfeng1, QI Xinxian1   

  1. 1. School of Geography and Ocean Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
    2. Laboratory of Carbon Neutralization and Territory Space Planning, Nanjing 210023, China
    3. School of Geography Science and Geomatics Engineering, Suzhou 215101, Jiangsu, China
  • Received:2021-11-10 Revised:2022-04-29 Online:2022-09-25 Published:2022-11-25
  • Contact: HUANG Xianjin;
  • Supported by:
    Creative Research Groups of National Natural Science Foundation of China(71921003)


Scientifically predicting and analyzing China's carbon neutrality pathways under different scenarios is helpful for the reasonable advancement of carbon neutrality goals, but there has been limited comprehensive analysis that combines carbon emission-sink change trend and a systematic analysis that uses international scenarios for climate change research. Our research simulates China's carbon emission-sink paths in the 21st century under the shared social economic paths, with the usage of WITCH integrated assessment model and IBIS vegetation dynamic model. We also predict and analyze the timetable and paths of China's carbon neutralization. We find that: (1) China's carbon aggregates show that there is a 3-4 year cyclical fluctuation. Under the RCP6.0 climate scenario, China's average carbon sinks are stable at about 0.30 Gt C/a. Under the RCP2.6 climate scenario, the amount shows a downward trend, and it is predicted to drop to about 0.18 Gt C/a in 2065-2100. (2) China's carbon emissions are jointly affected by world's economic and social development path and policy intensity. Under medium or high intensity emission reduction policies, China's carbon emissions will show a downward trend after reaching the peak in 2025-2030, and under SSP1 or SSP4 with high intensity carbon emission reduction policy, carbon emissions will be reduced to about 0.30 Gt C/a in 2060 and achieve the goal of carbon neutrality. (3) The research of pathways based on typical carbon neutral scenarios finds that, it is required to actively promote the progress and application of clean energy technology, the transformation of non-electric energy to electric energy, the popularity of biomass energy and CCS technology, and advocate the development of electric vehicles in order to realize carbon neutrality goals.

Key words: shared social economic paths, carbon neutrality, carbon sink, carbon emissions, China