The effects of direct trade within China on regional and national CO2 emissions

Zengkai Zhang, Ju'e Guo, Geoffrey J.D. Hewings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Curbing national carbon emissions and clarifying regional carbon reduction responsibility are two challenges faced by China, both of which are influenced by interregional trade. To exclude the influence of trade balance, this paper proposes a methodology to parcel the pollution haven hypothesis into a multi-regional input-output model, applies it to a longer time gap, which is made up of two representative periods of Chinese economy (1997-2002 and 2002-2007), and clarifies the provincial and sectoral contributions to national emissions. We find that (1) embodied CO2 emissions first remain relatively stable and then increase sharply for the two periods, and the changing trends are mainly determined by the decreasing carbon intensity and the expanding trade scale, respectively. (2) With the secondary industry as the main contributor, regional carbon spillover is mainly concentrated in the coastal provinces but it contributes to an increase of CO2 emissions in the central and western regions. (3) The coastal and inland provinces contribute to the increase of national carbon emissions through interregional imports and exports, respectively; but the pollution haven hypothesis is not obvious and is only observed in 2002.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-175
Number of pages15
JournalEnergy Economics
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Embodied CO emissions
  • Multi-regional input-output analysis
  • Pollution haven hypothesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Energy(all)

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