Coal is one of the main fuel sources in China. This paper sheds light on the evolution of China's interregional differences in CO2 emissions from coal by constructing a Gini coefficient and decoupling elasticity index for emissions from 1997 to 2012 and explains why emission differences deviate from economic growth differences. The study decomposed the Gini coefficient of CO2 emissions from coal by source, incremental source, and region. It also divided the decoupling elasticity of carbon emissions into two components: effects of environmental expenditure and effects of emission reduction policy. The findings of the study are as follows: First, interregional differences in China's overall CO2 emissions from coal are characterized by periodic fluctuation. Second, the differences in emissions from raw coal, the concentration effect of emissions, and the emission differences within regions are the three main factors in the overall difference changes in coal's carbon emissions in China. Last but not least, the decoupling between provincial CO2 emissions from coal and economic growth is on the whole weak. Based on the above findings, the author offers four suggestions for emission reduction.
Energy Policy – Elsevier
Published: Sep 1, 2016
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