IJERPH, Vol. 19, Pages 12126: Projections in Various Scenarios and the Impact of Economy, Population, and Technology for Regional Emission Peak and Carbon Neutrality in China (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Owing to the surge in greenhouse gas emissions, climate change is attracting increasing attention worldwide. As the world’s largest carbon emitter, the achievement of emission peak and carbon neutrality by China is seen as a milestone in the global response to the threat. By setting different “emission peak” and “carbon neutrality” paths, this study compares the different pathways taken by China towards regional emission reduction to illustrate China’s possible contribution to global emission reduction, and analyzes the role that China’s economy, population, and technology need to play in this process through the Stochastic Impacts by Regression on Population, Affluence, and Technology model. In terms of path setting, based on actual carbon emissions in various regions from 2000 to 2019 and grid data on land use from 2000 to 2020, the model simulates three emission peak paths to 2030 and two carbon neutrality paths to 2060, thus setting six possible carbon emission trends from 2000 to 2060 in different regions. It is found that the higher the unity of policy objectives at the emission peak stage, the lower the heterogeneity of the inter-regional carbon emission trends. In the carbon neutrality stage, the carbon emissions in the unconstrained symmetrical extension decline state scenario causes the greatest environmental harm. Certain regions must shoulder heavier responsibilities in the realization of carbon neutrality. The economic development level can lead to a rise in carbon emissions at the emission peak stage and inhibit it at the carbon neutrality stage. Furthermore, the dual effects of population scale and its quality level will increase carbon emissions at the emission peak stage and decrease it at the carbon neutrality stage. There will be a time lag between the output of science and technology innovation and its industrialization, while green innovation is a key factor in carbon neutrality. Based on the results, this study puts forward policy suggestions from a macro perspective to better realize China’s carbon emission goals.