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Convergence of carbon emissions at the household level in China: A distribution dynamics approach

Hongwu Zhang, Xunpeng Shi (), Tsun Se Cheong () and Keying Wang

Energy Economics, 2020, vol. 92, issue C

Abstract: Since household carbon emissions (HCEs) have become a new growing source and a significant contributor to global emissions, the reduction of HCEs is crucial. To formulate targeted and effective emission mitigation policies, we need to fully understand the characteristics of the distribution and evolution of per capita HCEs and their urban-rural and regional heterogeneity. This paper explores the transitional dynamics of per capita HCEs in China by employing the distribution dynamics approach with panel data compiled at the household level. We find that the overall per capita HCEs are unimodal distribution in the long run and the distribution dynamics of the per capita HCEs between the urban and rural areas or among the regional subgroups are quite different. However, the speed of convergence has accelerated over time. Moreover, our findings indicate that the per capita HCEs in the urban areas will achieve convergence to an emission level much higher than that of the rural areas. Meantime the per capita HCEs in Northeast China will converge to an emission level much higher than those of the other three regions. These findings provide valuable insights for policymakers in implementing differentiated environmental policies for different regions and between urban and rural households in China.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2020.104956

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