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Embodiment Analysis for Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Chinese Economy Based on Global Thermodynamic Potentials

Author(s): Bo Zhang | Suping Peng | Xiangyang Xu | Lijie Wang

Journal: Energies
ISSN 1996-1073

Volume: 4;
Issue: 11;
Start page: 1897;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: exergy | input-output embodiment analysis | greenhouse gas emissions in China

This paper considers the Global Thermodynamic Potential (GTP) indicator to perform a unified assessment of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and to systematically reveal the emission embodiment in the production, consumption, and international trade of the Chinese economy in 2007 as the most recent year available with input-output table and updated inventory data. The results show that the estimated total direct GHG emissions by the Chinese economy in 2007 amount to 10,657.5 Mt CO2-eq by the GTPs with 40.6% from CH4 emissions in magnitude of the same importance as CO2 emissions. The five sectors of Electric Power/Steam and Hot Water Production and Supply, Smelting and Pressing of Ferrous and Nonferrous Metals, Nonmetal Mineral Products, Agriculture, and Coal Mining and Dressing, are responsible for 83.3% of the total GHG emissions with different emission structures. The demands of coal and coal-electricity determine the structure of emission embodiment to an essential extent. The Construction sector holds the top GHG emissions embodied in both domestic production and domestic consumption. The GHG emission embodied in gross capital formation is more than those in other components of final demand characterized by extensive investment and limited household consumption. China is a net exporter of embodied GHG emissions, with a remarkable share of direct emission induced by international trade, such as textile products, industrial raw materials, and primary machinery and equipment products exports. The fractions of CH4 in the component of embodied GHG emissions in the final demand are much greater than those fractions calculated by the Global Warming Potentials, which highlight the importance of CH4 emissions for the case of China and indicate the essential effect of CH4 emissions on global climate change. To understand the full context to achieve GHG emission mitigation, this study provides a new insight to address China’s GHG emissions status and hidden emission information induced by the final demand to the related policy-makers.
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