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Nat Commun. 2017 Nov 23;8(1):1712. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-01820-w.

Chinese CO2 emission flows have reversed since the global financial crisis.

Author information

1
Water Security Research Centre, School of International Development, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK.
2
The Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management, University College London, London, WC1E 7HB, UK.
3
School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK.
4
Water Security Research Centre, School of International Development, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK. dabo.guan@uea.ac.uk.
5
School of Statistics and Applied Mathematics, Anhui University of Finance and Economics, Bengbu, 233030, China.
6
Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, 100081, China.
7
School of Management and Economics, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, 100081, China.
8
Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, 20742, USA.
9
Department of Environmental Studies, Masaryk University, Brno, 602 00, Czech Republic.

Abstract

This study seeks to estimate the carbon implications of recent changes in China's economic development patterns and role in global trade in the post-financial-crisis era. We utilised the latest socioeconomic datasets to compile China's 2012 multiregional input-output (MRIO) table. Environmentally extended input-output analysis and structural decomposition analysis (SDA) were applied to investigate the driving forces behind changes in CO2 emissions embodied in China's domestic and foreign trade from 2007 to 2012. Here we show that emission flow patterns have changed greatly in both domestic and foreign trade since the financial crisis. Some economically less developed regions, such as Southwest China, have shifted from being a net emission exporter to being a net emission importer. In terms of foreign trade, emissions embodied in China's exports declined from 2007 to 2012 mainly due to changes in production structure and efficiency gains, while developing countries became the major destination of China's export emissions.

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