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Economic development and converging household carbon footprints in China

Mi, Zhifu, Zheng, Jiali, Meng, Jing, Ou, Jiamin, Hubacek, Klaus, Liu, Zhu, Coffman, D’Maris M., Stern, Nicholas, Liang, Sai and Wei, Yi Ming (2020) Economic development and converging household carbon footprints in China. Nature Sustainability, 3 (7). pp. 529-537. ISSN 2398-9629

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Identification Number: 10.1038/s41893-020-0504-y


There are substantial differences in carbon footprints across households. This study applied an environmentally extended multiregional input–output approach to estimate household carbon footprints for 12 different income groups of China’s 30 regions. Subsequently, carbon footprint Gini coefficients were calculated to measure carbon inequality for households across provinces. We found that the top 5% of income earners were responsible for 17% of the national household carbon footprint in 2012, while the bottom half of income earners caused only 25%. Carbon inequality declined with economic growth in China across space and time in two ways: first, carbon footprints showed greater convergence in the wealthier coastal regions than in the poorer inland regions; second, China’s national carbon footprint Gini coefficients declined from 0.44 in 2007 to 0.37 in 2012. We argue that economic growth not only increases income levels but also contributes to an overall reduction in carbon inequality in China.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2020, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.
Divisions: Economics
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2022 10:33
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2024 03:15

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