Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2010, Vol. 65 ›› Issue (12): 1559-1568.doi: 10.11821/xb201012011

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Integrated Projection of Carbon Emission for China under the Optimal Economic Growth Path

WANG Zheng1,2, ZHU Yongbin2, LIU Changxin1,3, MAXiaozhe2,4   

  1. 1. Institute of Policy and Management, CAS, Beijing 100190, China;
    2. Key Laboratory of Geographic Information System, Ministry of Education, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China;
    3. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    4. Institute of Geographical Sciences of Henan Academy of Sciences, Zhengzhou 450052, China
  • Received:2010-05-21 Revised:2010-11-10 Online:2010-12-20 Published:2010-12-20
  • Supported by:

    Key directive item of Knowledge Innovation Project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. KZCX2-YW-325-7

Abstract: This paper performed a comprehensive projection of carbon emission through 2050 from the aspects of energy consumption, cement production process and forest carbon sink. Emission from energy consumption is estimated under the energy-economy framework by introducing the economic dynamics model and forecasting the energy demand on the optimal growth path, meanwhile the evolution of energy structure and the variation of carbon contents among energy types are also considered. Emission from cement production is projected on the basis of the forecast of cement output, which is deemed to be relative to urbanization process, while the latter follows the traditional S-curve development law. The estimation of forest carbon sink capability, involving the existing and newly afforested one, is conducted by employing the CO2FIX model. Eventually, all the three carbon sources or sink are composed to obtain the net carbon emission. Our results indicate that carbon emission from energy consumption peaks in 2031, with an emission of 2637 MtC (Million tons of Carbon equivalent) and the GDP per capita in that year is lower than the empirical experience of OECD countries; while the per capita energy-induced emission peaks in 2030, with a volume of 1.73 tC, which is far behind the US level of 2006 and still lower than the EU and Japan level of 2006. Besides, emission from cement production demonstrates a slow-down growth trend, and its emission is confined within 254 MtC, which is equivalently 12% of gross emission (here it refers to those emitted from energy consumption and cement production). Accumulated forest carbon sink is able to absorb 6806.2 MtC CO2 through 2050, but the annual absorption is dropping gradually. It is estimated that the net emission of CO2 will peak in 2033, which is 2748 MtC.

Key words: energy consumption, cement production, forest carbon sink, net CO2 emission