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Understanding Energy and Carbon Intensities in China: Trends, Projections, and Uncertainties
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Two weeks before the Copenhagen summit on climate change, China officially made a pledge to cut its carbon intensity by 40 to 45 percent below 2005 level by 2020. The thesis has tried to look into the quality and quantity concern of this pledge made by the biggest CO2 emitter in the world. From the existing projections on China’s business as usual (BAU) scenarios to 2020, there are no unanimous conclusions showing whether there is additionality in China’s pledge to reduce 40-45% of its carbon intensity between 2005 and 2020. Further analysis on selected results, we have found scenarios of two frequently cited authorities, namely IEA and EIA are, to some extent, misinterpreted regarding their references/current policies scenarios. On the other hand, several more typical BAU scenarios, like Garnaut’s and ReMIND-R, predicted much lower than 40% reduction rate in the period of 2005-2020. China’s pledge seems achievable with certain extra effort, comparing with historical pathways of several OECD countries, including U.S., Japan, Germany, and Korea. The average period in these four countries to go through China’s abatement path is around 21 years. From a global prospect, China’s pledge is impressive but not enough to address the climate change issue. The biggest uncertainty inherited in the pledge is the uncertain peak year of absolute emissions. The critical movement beyond 2020 pledge is to peak its absolute CO2 emissions as early as possible. Such a challenging target shall be set as no later than 2030 according to our overviews on the related literature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Examensarbete vid Institutionen för geovetenskaper, ISSN 1650-6553 ; 62
Keyword [en]
Sustainable development, Climate change, China, CO2 emissions, Energy intensity Carbon Intensity
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-177097OAI: diva2:539483
Subject / course
Sustainable development
Educational program
Master Programme in Sustainable Development
, Geocentrum, Uppsala universitet, Uppsala (English)
Life Earth Science
Available from: 2012-07-04 Created: 2012-07-04 Last updated: 2012-07-04Bibliographically approved

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