Inderscience Publishers

Driving force factor analysis of global carbon intensity changes

This paper presents the first attempt to analyse the driving force factors of global carbon intensity changes. The said changes from 1998 to 2009 are decomposed into a summation of the quantitative effects of three dimensions: 1) time; 2) emitter (195 countries and regions); 3) influence factor (technological innovation and economic structural adjustment). The decomposition results revealed several important conclusions. First, although both countries are super emitters, the USA and China greatly differ in decreasing global intensity, with the former being the most important contributor and the latter being the most important deterrent. Second, the rate of change in an emitter's carbon intensity is considered an indicator of progress speed in realising sustainable development. This change is not related to the emitter's level of economic development. Emitters with similar rates of change tend to cluster together according to their geographic locations. Finally, the annual change in global carbon intensity that is influenced by technological innovation is irregular, whereas those caused by economic structural adjustment present a linear increasing trend, which imposes increasing pressure on the need to decrease global carbon intensity.

Keywords: driving force factor, global carbon intensity, carbon intensity changes, decomposition analysis, technological innovation, economic structural adjustment, carbon emissions, CO2, carbon dioxide

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