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Direct and indirect contributions of energy consumption structure to carbon emission intensity

Jiuli Yin (Research Center for Energy Development and Environmental Protection Strategy, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, China)
Qing Ding (Research Center for Energy Development and Environmental Protection Strategy, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, China)
Xinghua Fan (Research Center for Energy Development and Environmental Protection Strategy, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, China)

International Journal of Energy Sector Management

ISSN: 1750-6220

Article publication date: 1 March 2021

Issue publication date: 12 May 2021

182

Abstract

Purpose

Reductions in emissions intensity have been expressed in commitments of many countries’ intended nationally determined contribution. Energy structure adjustment is one of the main approaches to reduce carbon emissions. This paper aims to study the causal relationship between carbon emission intensity and energy consumption structure in China based on path analysis.

Design/methodology/approach

After data collection, this paper performs correlation analysis, regression and path analysis.

Findings

Correlation results display clear collinearity among energy structure variables. Regression finds that coal, oil, natural gas and technology can be used as indicators for carbon intensity while primary electricity has been excluded. Path analysis shows that coal had the largest direct and positive impact on emission intensity. Natural gas had a positive direct and negative indirect effect through its negative relationship with coal on emission intensity. Technology has the largest negative elasticity while all fossil energies are positive. Results indicate a negative effect of energy structure adjustment on China’s national carbon intensity.

Originality/value

Given the major role of China in global climate change mitigation, significant future reductions in China’s CO2 emissions will require transformation toward low-carbon energy systems. Considering the important role in mitigating global climate change, China needs to transition toward a low-carbon energy system to significantly reduce its carbon intensity in the future.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Research is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [Nos. 71673116 and 71690242].

Citation

Yin, J., Ding, Q. and Fan, X. (2021), "Direct and indirect contributions of energy consumption structure to carbon emission intensity", International Journal of Energy Sector Management, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 665-677. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJESM-08-2020-0009

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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