China is the world’s largest emitter of CO2. As the largest sector of China’s fossil energy consumption and carbon emissions, manufacturing will play an important role in achieving emission reduction goals in China. Three main types of energy-related CO2 mitigation policies are anticipated to be implemented in the coming years: fuel substitution, improved energy efficiency, and a shift to other industries to reduce this sector’s share of the GDP.
With collaborators from China and Ireland, Professor Hua Cai (Industrial Engineering and Environmental and Ecological Engineering) used a long-range energy alternative planning model to evaluate the relative potential impact of these three policies. The analysis finds a shift to less energy-intensive industries should receive the highest priority. Policies to improve energy efficiency can help reduce emissions, however, they cannot significantly help China change its fuel mix away from coal and other fossil fuels.
Li, L., J. Wang, J. Zhang, B. O. Gallachoir, H. Cai (2019). Energy-intensive industries in China: Policy priorities for achieving climate mitigation and energy conservation targets., Climate Policy, 19(5):598-610.